Being without my mother makes me feel like that dream where you go to school naked. Everyday I wake up and remember she is gone and I feel naked. Lost.
It’s now been officially over a month since her passing from a glioblastoma brain tumor. Thirty-six days to be exact. Thirty-six days of feeling naked. I think at first I wasn’t sure what the feeling was, because surely everything was just a bad dream. Losing my mom, feeling naked in front of my peers, being stripped of everything comfortable my mom was – her very essence.
Who do I call now when I need advice on one of kids mishaps? What about the funny outfit photos I would text her everyday because I knew how much she loved them. Who is going to guide me through motherhood?
Of course my mother will still do this. I’ve realized one thing in the past thirty-six days. My mother was an amazing woman. An amazing friend, wife, employer and of course, mom. She would drop everything to help me, to guide me through my ups and downs. She showed me what being a mother is just because she was the most amazing one.
I am grateful I was able to spend thirty-eight years with my mom. I know so many people do not get that chance. But my mom suffered like she shouldn’t ever have suffered. Like anyone with Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4 should have to suffer. She knew her time was up and she still kept on living. She still kept planning. She never, ever gave up.
She gave us the gift of her last 17 months on earth by being optimistic, caring, fun, spontaneous and adventurous. She didn’t complain and she didn’t tell us what was really going on with her. Before that made me angry, thinking about that. I hated the thought that she hid all of the truth behind her disease from me and that I couldn’t do more. But that would mean pity. And pity is not what she wanted.
So here I am, thirty-six days later, with a hole in my heart that I am having a hard time filling, and I realize that in an act of selflessness, my mother has taught me one very amazing gift. She’s reminded me to look at my kids and see them for being bright colors in my life. They make every day interesting, different, sometimes hard, but most times just awesome. My mother has reminded me to not waste a single day with my kids.
I used to dance with my kids and play tag and do silly things. But all of this got pushed away because of sadness and fear. I think the only way I am going to survive this and mend the huge hole in my heart is by remembering how to enjoy my kids. Maybe the holidays aren’t so blah after all as I thought. Maybe they are the key to managing life without my mom. I was convinced there was no joy this holiday season, but maybe it’s actually a perfect opportunity to reign in my kids and hold them tight like my mom taught me.
This is what I have learned. Thirty-six days later.