This post is extremely difficult for me to write, in fact as we speak my hands are shaking. As a lot of you may have noticed, I can blab all day about Mathew, about being a mom, the things I'm doing in my life but I don't open up about the fact that I lost my mom 5 years ago to Leukemia. I am not a writer and as I mentioned this is difficult to write so I might jump around a bit!
I recently had a very close friend lose her mother, and as we were talking on the phone I tried desperately to find comforting words to say and search for ways to bring her a sense of peace. After we got off the phone it made me realize I don't share my feelings about my mother often and maybe just maybe someone will come across this post who is going through a similar situation and I can help them in some way.
Okay, here I go. I was 22 when I lost my mother. Although we knew she was sick and Leukemia would ultimately take her away from us, we didn't realize how quickly it would actually happen.
After she was diagnosed we knew it was going to be about a ten year battle, but unfortunately her fight ended five short years later. This is something that has always been hard for me to deal with...not enough time. I will always cherish the time I had with her, but because I didn't realize the seriousness of her disease I never took advantage of that time.
My mom was so sweet, and really funny! She was really talented when it came to arts and crafts. Although I didn't inherit that gene from her I'm still hoping for it to come! My mom was a bit of a "ditz" per-say, and it used to really hurt me when I heard people say comments about her or poke fun. Now I realize that's what I love most about her, she didn't care what people said or thought! Although she had this funny side to her she was always the one I could go to for advice, in fact some of the best advice I've ever received was from her.
As soon as my mom found out she was sick, she would always mention how she wanted me to help her cook and clean and how one day I would be on my own and need to know these things....Of course at my age I brushed it off "yeah okay mom, tomorrow let's do that". Today I wish I was the cook she was and really just wish I had the same drive she had! If my mom wanted to do something it didn't matter her age, it didn't matter how busy her schedule was SHE DID IT!
It has been a really long journey these past five years. I have always had a tough skin when it came to losing my mom. I never wanted anyone to see how bad it truly hurts, how it may have effected my life etc. This is the hardest thing by far I have ever been through. The worst thing I ever did was bottle up these feelings. For about two weeks after she passed I would drag myself out of bed, go to work, go straight home and lay in bed and cry. I pushed my friends away, only because they had no idea what I was going through. Nothing they could do or say made me feel better, they had never been here before. I have had the same handful of friends all my life and we remain as close as ever! Because they've stuck by me through all my craziness I love them more today then ever before!
Shortly after my mom died my dad announced he was engaged to a long time family friend Chris. Let me just quickly say, I have grown to love Chris SO much, and we have all accepted and welcomed her to our family :) But after we heard this news so quickly after my mom passed it devastated my brothers and I. How could this really be happening?!?!? Can we please have time to grieve here? We were all still young and of course still trying to deal with everything so we didn't make it the easiest for my dad and Chris and it was a long time before the tension was lifted. I'm not going to get to in to detail here because It doesn't matter anymore! Chris makes my dad so happy, she's really funny, and she loves and has a deep respect for my mother. She is also very sweet with Mathew and Kale! We just really love her!
The most difficult part of being without my mom these last five years has been becoming a mother myself. As soon as I discovered I was pregnant I panicked! She is not here to help me through this, she can't answer my questions! She's not here to tell me her stories. I really need her right now! Luckily I found comfort in talking to cousins and James' Mom Linda. Without them I would have been a wreck!
Most of all now it's difficult knowing my son and future children will never know her.
New Years Eve this year It hit me harder than ever. Why do I have to go through the rest of my life without her? My children will never get to spend time with her and will never know how truly wonderful she was. IT'S NOT FARE! I had a bit of a break down. But a good one, like I said I bottle up my feeling so much, I needed a good cry! Now I'm comfortable enough to share my story, and my difficult journey! That's a good thing right!
One good thing to know is I only have good memories of my mom. When I think of her it's never memories of her when she was sick or during the last stages of her life. It's the beautiful, healthy mom! I often dream of her and they're always fun dreams of us hanging out, or dreams where she thinks I'm crazy for thinking she's passed she's right here! This is especially wonderful, when Mathew first started talking about 7 months ago he pointed to a picture of my parents and pointed to my dad and said "bampa" then I asked Mathew "where's grandma?" and he pointed at my mom. Could have been a coincidence yes, but I'd like to think it's because he really does know of her! I wanted to share some good stories too here :)
The most important advice I can give to anyone going through the loss of a parent or anyone special in your life is:
-Cherish every second you spent with them.
-Remember all the great and wonderful times.
-Each day gets easier and easier.
-After the loss take whatever time necessary to heal, don't push your feelings aside thinking you're fine! It will kick your ass later!
-Start a journal, write down all your feelings GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST
-Stop asking the "what if 's", "whys", "should haves" etc, it will drive you mad.
-Know you're not alone! Accept all the love and support around you.
-Most of all, life is short! Don't take it for granted!
I love you mom. I hope I can be as great a mom your were to us kids.