It’s been six years since my mommy died. Actually, it’s been six years today that my mommy died. Somewhere around 3:15 pm to be exact. Every year I post a picture or two or more of my beautiful mommy on social media and say, “Six years ago today, I lost my beautiful mommy.” It seems so cliche and even a little embarrassing to do that. Those that actually remember this day care, but otherwise, it’s just another ordinary day. But I don’t want to do that this year. This year, I want to let everyone know what it’s like for those that have lost their mommies.
- I have been dreading this day…. wait… let me back up a minute. I have felt this day coming all summer. Since May, which is when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011. Then Fourth of July rolled around and I remember Joe and I doing sparklers and snappers and snakes in my mom’s front yard to cheer her up. But she was too sad that day and stayed inside. I knew it was her last Fourth of July and she probably did too.
- I suppose I could choose to be super happy today. I mean, it’s just a “day.” My mom wouldn’t want me to be sad today. But, I can’t stop thinking about her. The poem I wrote her… When my mom died, I inherited a trailer and a truck load of stuff. My mom’s prized possessions. Plants I would later kill (not on purpose), clothes, clothes, clothes, shoes, purses, unopened mail, opened mail, pictures, furniture, collectables, elephant anything and everything, coffee cups, blankets, sewing stuff, magazines, books, oh and clothes. This stuff sat in boxes for the good part of six months before I could finally open them. And when I did, I would hold her clothes to my nose hoping to catch a whiff of her perfume. I even smelled her hair brush to catch a whiff of her scent. That may sound so weird, but I did it. I dug and I dug and I dug through everything looking for a piece of my mom’s soul. Maybe something of her was left behind that she wanted me to find. And there it was, a poem I had written my mom in the early 2000’s when I was in high school. She had framed it. She FRAMED a poem written in terrible cursive on a piece of notebook paper that was torn out of a spiral notebook, fringe still present. It had been folded and unfolded a dozen times. And she FRAMED it. With it, a pin that read, “Never Give Up.” That poem was a source of inspiration for my mom to keep going when times were hard. MY poem I wrote her on a whim just because. I can’t stop thinking about that today.
- My mom never got to meet three out of my five children.
- My aunt (her sister) and my grandma (her beloved step-mom who raised her as her own) are gone too. The three power house women of my childhood and young adult years are all gone. Now it’s my turn to step up and be a power house woman for my children, cousins children, and so on. It’s hard and it sucks and I just want to call anyone of them up and say, “Hey!! How the hell did you do this?!”
- I still have to do laundry today, go to the grocery store, cook, get ready for school to start for me and my kids. But all I want to do is snuggle with the Pooh Bear she got me when I was 12 and cry into it’s stiff fur.
- By the way, I hadn’t cried all day until I was taking a shower and thought of that damn poem. And then I just burst into wailing spasms and tears. Out of nowhere. So for those that think I can just “get over this” or “choose happiness today” my soul has another idea that I can’t control.
- I honored my mommy and her green thumb on Mother’s Day by planting a million and one flowers in flower pots. I have flowers everywhere. It’s beautiful. Only a few of them have died. So there! Take that mother nature!
- She was my number one fan. Even when I did stupid stuff, I was still her “smarty pants.” I have a pillow she found for me right before she passed away that says, “Smarty Pants.” I keep it on my chair in my classroom and I share her story with my students every year. She never graduated high school and she died knowing that I had finished my last class of college and was going to student teach the 2011-2012 school year. She was very proud of me.
- My face is getting older and it’s changing to look just like my mom’s. I catch a glimpse of her in the mirror most every day.
- Today is August 9th.
So you see, this day pops up on the calendar every year. I know it’s coming. But that doesn’t change my mind and my heart. Today is a day of missing someone I yearn to see daily. So today, I give her the time and I remember all the little things I thought I had forgotten.
Thank you for sharing this day with me.