My first best friend. My biggest cheerleader. My best teacher. My mom. My heart has ached for 9 days, now. Late on January 7th, we lost my mom suddenly to a heart attack. So suddenly, in fact, that she passed mid-laugh while hanging out with my dad.
I haven’t regretted moving 800 miles away until that night. I’m sure losing a parent in any way leads someone to hopelessness, but I cannot accurately explain the utter despair I felt that Saturday. The pain I felt was uncontrollable. Pain for my mom. Pain for me. Pain for my dad and my sisters. Pain for my children, who will never get to meet their Nanny.
I got an hour of sleep that night, but none of it was restful. Honestly, I think my body just shut down at some point. Survival mode. At 8 am, I was on a plane headed east. My sister, Jessica, picked me up at the airport. We clung to each other. It was a long ride home – sharing memories, asking why, missing mom.
When we pulled up at the farm around 1, my heart sank even further. It was her home, but she wasn’t there. I walked around to the back and opened the sliding glass door. My dad was standing in the kitchen and we hugged tightly and cried.
Then the people started coming. They brought food and prayers. Some stuck around to share stories about mom, others slipped in and out, almost undetected. To be honest, it was all a blur and I don’t remember much of it. The next several days were more of the same – more grieving people, funeral arrangements, hurt, blur.
We laid my mom’s body to rest on Wednesday January 11th. There were so many flowers it was almost overwhelming. The local florist actually ran out of flowers. I am forever grateful to the people who took the time to come, or even send a note. There were people I hadn’t seen in years who came. There were also old childhood friends that I had lost contact with. There were new friends who traveled just to give me a hug. The amount of love that has surrounded us has been comforting. We are loved. She was loved.
It was hard leaving home. I just want to be with my dad and my sisters. I know we’re all going to be ok, though, and that we have to move forward with living. That’s what Mom would want. That’s why I’m here today, writing on this space. It’s still raw and I’m still out of my mind, but I’m carrying on so I can continue to make her proud.
Today I’m taking my time drinking my morning coffee – I’ll have more this afternoon – while listening to the Beatles. When I finish this, I’m going to run up to my bedroom and I’m going to get dressed because people promise me that doing that helps. I miss her terribly.
Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. Please stick with me, this is just going to take some time.