A couple of months ago, my mom died. She passed away the day before Mother’s Day and two days after my birthday. I’m not sure what I feel at this point. Shock? Yes. Grief? Sure. Along with a heaping measure of guilt for not being a better daughter.
And then there’s this weird mix of exasperated amusement. My mom was what most people would call “a character.” She was blind, deaf, old-fashioned, and at times, a huge pain in the ass. She was the kind of person who would pick the day before Mother’s Day to shuffle off this mortal coil, if only to get back at me for forgetting her birthday for the last twenty years.
Some days, she drove me crazy. I’m talking claw-your-eyes-out-hair-on-fire-bat shit-crazy.
Other days, she was kind, loving, and fiercely protective. She handled life’s disappointments with humor, grace, and a kind of get-‘er-done-and-fuck-the-rest attitude that I’ve tried so hard to emulate in my own life. Most importantly, she was mine. My mother. And I would give everything I have in this life and the next, to have her back for just one more day.
Grief hits me at unexpected times, like when I’m driving or in the shower. One minute, I’m fine. The next, the pain is so great that it’s all I can do to keep breathing.
I don’t have the best track record when it comes to dealing with grief. When my twin brother died, I handled it by quitting my job, running away from home, shaving my head, and joining a cult. I wound up in Arizona a month later, married to a man I barely knew. My dad had it annulled while I went away for a few weeks to “rest” in a glorified booby hatch.
(Don’t worry. As of today’s post, I am still unmarried and not bald, so I guess that’s a good sign.)
I know the last thing my mom would want is for me to spend the rest of my life mourning her. If she were here, she’d smack me upside the head and tell me to get on with it. So, that’s what I’m doing.
I love you, Mom.