Some memories are crystal clear, while others are fuzzy. One of my crystal memories is how much I needed my mom. As some of you know from my previous blogs I dealt with severe anxiety starting around eight or nine. At times this was literally mind crippling. Around nine it was so bad that I started sleeping with my mom in her bed, while my dad got stuck in mine; little did any of us know that would remain in effect for years. Each night my only calming down mechanism was her rubbing my back assuring me everything was alright. God! She was so freaking patient and understanding! What hell I must of put her through with my attacks. I would tell her everything, even the stuff she probably did not want to hear. She never made me feel bad with my silly attacks and my crazy symptoms I thought I was experiencing. She never judged me and always listened. Honestly, looking back at what I was dealing with I know I couldn't of done it without her. She was not only my mom. She was my rock, my nurse, my Xanax, and my friend. I worried about everything! About the age of 10 or so I realized that her and my dad's smoking was probably not the wisest choice. I then began my begging and pleading for them to stop. I would write tearful and heart-full letters of how much I loved them and did not want to see them die from lung cancer. I told my mom several times that I could not imagine my life without her if she did die. As a child that is the worst fear, especially when your parents are your "rocks." My mom would tell me to stop worrying and that she wasn't going anywhere for a long time. To a ten year old, long sounds good but forever would of sounded better.
At night while trying to fall asleep I always would tell myself stories. Sometimes they were happy and sometimes I imagined the saddest stories. A happy one was what it would be like and what I would say to my biological mother when I met her. The saddest story was going over my conversation with my mom when she died. Of course as a ten year old you do not understand the power of your stories nor do you have a clue what the Law of Attraction is. Let me tell you, the universe delivers to your exact thoughts so make certain you are telling yourself good stories. (even the stories about death). In my conversation with my mom, I was holding her hand and telling her how much I loved her. I thanked her for being the mom she was and letting her know how much she meant to me. At the end of my story I always had a tear streaming down my cheek, but wiped it off knowing we still had a long time together and feeling the joy that her warm body was still next to mine. After those stories, I would wrap my arm tightly around her and tried really hard to keep my sniffling soft so she would not know why I was crying.
In most girl teenage years, we have fragile relationships with our parents. Hormones are kicking in and things go said that probably shouldn't of been. The trust for each other fades a bit and the word "hate" may get tossed around at times. The word, "hate" never came out of my mouth towards my parents. Now, let me say I am not a saint. I may have thought it a couple of times, but honestly how can you tell your parents you hate them when they have given everything to you? I had such a emotional conscience and would rather die than hurt either one of my parents feelings with mean words. When I was five I witnessed my dad crying for the first time. My heart literally crumbled inside and I held his hand and wept with him. I did not know what to do, but that....If my mom got angry she would sometimes leave the house and drive off. OMG! I would run to dad crying hysterically asking if she would ever come back again. She always did and trust was never an issue with my mom.
Over the years our relationship grew stronger which is hard to even imagine knowing how strong it already was. We had our little disagreements and both of our stubborn ways made it a bit harder sometimes to apologize. In the end, we did say sorry, hug, kiss and say we loved each other. When I got married, her and my dad walked me down the aisle. When I went into labor both times she was by my side telling me that I was doing a great job and to keep pushing! Honestly my mom is my hero and I could never imagine her not being with me at my most joyous or hardest times of my life. Sadly, now I have to imagine that and her promise of not leaving me for a long time has finally come.
On April 29th, 2013, my best friend, super hero, anxiety medication, rock and my biggest fan has left this realm. I have to admit she went like she wanted; fast. Within a week from feeling yucky, to hospital bed, to surgery, to ICU, she left in an instant. I never knew it would happen like this, but I am grateful it did. I got the phone call from the nurse at 3 a.m.. My mom wanted me to come down to the hospital and be by her side. The nurse said she was nervous....HA! My mom was not afraid of anything, EVER! She laughed at the face of fear. So at first I was wondering if the nurse was calling the right person. I obviously did not ask him and went down there to be by her side. In my heart I knew probably just like she did that this would be our last physical moments together. I walked into ICU and the nurse gave me the run down. Low blood pressure in which she was on medication to stabilize, but if she remained on this medication she would probably lose a limb. Most likely it would be one of her legs. I took the info all in and immediately started massaging her purple legs. I then began joking around with her to lower her heart rate and keep her calm.(hmmmm, role reversal here). The nurse mentioned giving her some Ativan which would help her relax. I told her that I heard it was pretty good shit and some of my friends took it before they went on airplanes. She smiled and agreed to take it. The nurse left the room to go grab it and I had to know why she was nervous. So, I asked her and she answered me without any hesitation and her answer was what I was dreading to hear. She was nervous about dying. My heart wrenched for a second, but I knew I had to be her rock at this moment. I simply told her she was strong but if anything happened I was not leaving her side and she had to promise me two things. She looked at me and I went on with stating that she had to watch over my dad, myself, Mike, Avery and Derek. I went on with my last request. You need to send me signs! Even if it is a whiff of cigarette smoke I did not care, I wanted them. She agreed with a smile. The nurse came in and administered the drug. She immediately relaxed and now was the moment I knew I had to let her know everything from my heart and the story I told myself thirty years ago. I grabbed her hand and released all I had to say; how great of mom she is, how I cherished our relationship, and how much she meant to me. I included something to this story that needed to be said immediately. I squeezed her and tight and looked right into her beautiful blue eyes, "Mom, I am the mother today that I am because of you." I went on and told her that my relationship with my kids was as close and honest as it is because of the relationship I had with her. The tears came down just like thirty years ago, but I chose not to wipe them. We both repeated over and over again of how much we love each other and about ninety minutes later I witnessed her last breath, along with her last heart beat. As she laid below me with my head on her heart I continued to sob uncontrollably but knew all was well. No one can take this moment away from me and I can write this piece with no regrets, no what if's and no I should of or could of's.....
Being with her was the most beautiful moment. The moment was just as beautiful as when my kids' came into this world. Birth and Death are much of the same, they truly are. I wish for everyone to have this same experience as I did if possible. To many of us have anger or old issues with loved ones that we cannot let go. Pride is a product of ego that we need not to accept or tolerate with anyone in our lives.
A few days after my mom passed she kept true to her promise. A few different times I would get a whiff of gross smoke, but inhaled it like it was a bush of lilacs. As I was crying myself to sleep the following Thursday, I asked her for of sign of why she had to leave so quick. Before I woke up the next morning (I won't go into my whole dream) she looked at me and then looked down at her leg which was missing. I woke up and understood her sign. Quality of life, not quantity. I was completely at peace, still sad but grateful knowing my mom would be with me always now.
That Friday morning, my dad and I went to the funeral home to pick up her ashes. I felt and knew the box I was holding was just a pile of dust that really did not make me happy or sad. As my dad and I sat in the car I placed mom in my lap and smiled. My dad asked what I was thinking, and I answered, "41 years ago, we were all in a similar situation, but I am going to be a bit safer and buckle us up." My dad smiled and off we drove, Pat, Henry and Sandi...........Peace....