Surviving the Apocalypse

It’s common thought that among the children of Moms everywhere, they cannot even FATHOM what life would be like without their mother. “I think I’ll go crazy that day.” “I don’t know what I’ll do.” “I’ll want to kill myself.” “I don’t even want to think about it… ” Wrapping your mind around it is a whole other incident than actually dealing with it. And that’s the God’s honest truth.

In all fairness, I’ve been bracing myself for my mother’s death ever since I was a young girl. For as long as I’d known her, she’s been in some kind of pain. In my early years, it was constant back pain. Not debilitating… but constant. Then followed by knee pain in my double digit years. The both of them together made it so that in a 15 block walk, she’d have to stop 3 or 4 times to “catch her breath” but she was really trying to get the strength up to endure the pain for a few more blocks. Then both of them so severe that she had to quit one job of the two that she held. Then sciatica that forced back surgery that had her feeling better and almost like new… But she went back to work too soon… and undid the whole thing. Then diabetes. Then hypertension. Then the continuing obesity that got worse with every year. Then the cancer. Finally… the kidney failure. With that kind of history, you’d think that I’d be QUITE ready for her to have passed from the earth. But HOPE, man. Hope is a drug. And the fact that it springs eternal makes you a junkie for life. I would always sit there and hope… that she’d come home and start a weight regimen so that she could take the pressure off of her knees so that they wouldn’t hurt so much, so that maybe we could go to the mall together like all the other kids. I would hope that she’d take VITAMINS instead of all the prescription pills so that she could fortify her body with the stuff she needed to survive and not all the stuff they just prescribed her so they could keep making money. Even when she was in the hospitals and homes this past year, when she lost 120 lbs… HOPE took me over and I imagined her taking the reigns, beating EVERYTHING that was against her – kidneys, cancer… the whole kit and kaboodle… and get a new lease on life.

No such luck. The only hope answered is that perhaps she wouldn’t suffer very long. But 20+ years is a LOT of pain. And truly, it’s the only consolation to her being gone. I know now there isn’t an aching joint, a paining abdomen, a screaming back anywhere NEAR where she is now. For the first time since I’ve know her… she’s NOT in pain.

Unfortunately there has been a transference of that pain energy.

I’ve never been so sad. Felt that anything was so hard. Cried so often. Been so hopeLESS. To those who might be wondering what the worst part is… it’s that now that they’re gone… YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING. In a world that you find shockingly empty and meaningless once they’re gone. Having to rationalize your urges to call and hear their voice, because that’s usually what you’d do to get through the day – with the reality that she’s really NOT here anymore and YOU are. To jolt up from dreams of her where she was herself – loving, sweet and perfect – to realize that it’s the ONLY place you’ll see her now.

As much as I’d like to hold her again… Just to feel her motherly embrace around me…. I will NEVER. EVER. AGAIN. And I? Have to get used to THAT reality. That’s the worst part of this.

Today makes 1 month that she’s been gone from this world. And Thursday would have been her 67th birthday. And next week will be my first Thanksgiving with ZERO parents… Christmas and New Year’s shortly there after.

I have to survive it all. And emerge on the other side…

Still without my mom.


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