My mom passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2014. She was my best friend. The first one I called for whatever. The good, the bad, the meaningless, the meaningful. She was my shoulder for crying, she was my arms for hugging. My cheerleader, and yes, the proverbial wind beneath my wings. All of these things and so much more. A beautiful person with a beautiful heart who was loved and enjoyed by so many.
I keep thinking of that scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, at the funeral, when Matthew is eulogizing his beloved Gareth, and he quotes this part of the W. H. Auden poem, Stop all the clocks (Funeral Blues):
"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong"
Mom was my everything. My kid is also my everything: Mom was my other everything. My other other half.
My compass, moral and otherwise. My tether. The thing helping to hold me to the ground, to a center. Right now I feel I'm floating.
Everything goes on... I mother, I cook, I eat, I exercise, I laugh with my friends, I watch TV, I sleep. But it all feels different. It doesn't feel normal. It feels like things about which I'd look forward or get excited hover just above the ground... I still feel the excitement but there is something hollow there, too. It's not as exciting. It's not as funny. It doesn't feel as special.
I know that this part, the part where I'm missing her, the part where I feel that nothing is quite right, that this part will hurt less and feel less weird. I'm not there yet. I'm heading toward new new normal. New normal started in October of 2012 when Dad died. So now it's new new normal.
There is no way to make this neat and tidy. No way to just get over this part that feels so sad and hollow and get to the other side. It's only time that will get me there.
I keep saying to people it's one day at a time. It's more like one hour at a time. One minute, even.
And my brain is like full of what I picture as ping pong balls, that rattle around and bounce up and down and I never know which one will come up. One ball says, "I had her for forty three years. I'm so lucky. Think of people who lose their moms when they're twenty. Or when they're little kids. I'm so very blessed to have had her for a long as I did." Another ball pops up and says, "Cancer sucks so much ass. It didn't even have a fair fight. What kind of bullshit is it that we found out about the cancer in October and it closed down her stomach in December so she couldn't even eat for the last month of her life? What kind of ridiculous unfair nonsense is that when she was the best person I've ever known?" And yet another ball pops up that says, "I miss my mommy. I want to call her. I want to go to her house and just lay my head on her chest and hug her and stay there, all day and all night long. I want my mommy." No, I was not able to type that line without crying. Without sitting here at the computer, sobbing by myself.
It's my first day alone with my thoughts. The kid stayed home with me the day after Mom died. Then we had her field trip. Then the weekend. Then three days out of school with a head cold. So now she's back to school and it's me in my house at the computer, just me, the computer, some coffee and my brain. So I guess that's why I had to do this today.
I cannot say how much my support people have helped me throughout all of this. My family. My brother in particular. My kid who fills me with love and joy and laughter always. My friends. My special best friends, my lovenet. My friends who have fed me, emotionally and literally. My friends who have been where I am. Who have lost their mommies or their mommies and their daddies and who show me strength and inspire me and make me know that I won't always feel so lost. I won't always feel as if I'm floating in a bad way. Without these people, I don't know what I would do. I just know this process would be that much harder.
I can only end this part of my journey with the way we ended most of our phone calls, with a back and forth that went something like this. Silliness that evolved, I believe, from my brother making fun of me and Mom for some kind of goodbye exchange.
I love you best.
I love you most.
Back crack big Mac.
Give your dog a bone.
Give YOUR dog a bone.
And I also told her I loved her to the moon. And back, and up and down and flip around.
And I always will.