Wednesday, April 19, 2023

April 19, 2023

Dear Mom, 

I didn't remember it yesterday, last night, or even this morning. I got up, used the bathroom, washed my face, and did my morning workout. I got my old cat some food and helped him up on the counter for a drink from the tap. He can't jump up anymore, so we always lift him and make airplane sounds. He seems to like it. Then, I helped him back down and we went to the couch for some morning cuddles.

I scrolled through my phone, and looked at pet drinking fountains on Amazon. I scrolled through my emails, and cleared out all the junk. I've had that email address for 20 years now, and it is just 99.999% junk, at this point. I discovered the Foo Fighters are putting out a new album, the first since their drummer died, so I went to their site and pre-ordered the white vinyl version. Colored vinyl is better than black vinyl. It's fact. I looked up their concert tickets, to see if I'd missed my opportunity to buy them for this summer. Too bad for me, I had.

I researched new non-stick pans since ours are old and losing their surface. I'm still undecided. Then, I opened Instagram. The first Instagram story it was recommending to me was from your foreign exchange daughter that stayed with you the last year you were healthy. You guys hit it off, and you were quickly very attached to each other. I clicked to watch her stories, and it was her memories of you.

Then I remembered.

Last night, after ditching out on the date night Justin and I had planned, I got in bed at 9pm. I messed around on my computer, aimlessly online shopping, and working on a few small writing projects. I was all sorts of distracted and couldn't focus, but I felt fine. I didn't remember yet.

Justin climbed into bed around 10:30 and we talked about our lives together. Nothing came up about you or your death. Neither of us remembered.

Perhaps this is what our brains do after 9 years apart from the ones we've lost. Maybe our brains do the subconscious work of not reminding us anymore, since we seem to be doing decently. They preserve us, in a way.

I laid there in the dim light of the morning, stretched out on one side of our L-shaped couch. My cat was curled up next to my head, on his favorite flannel blanket. I stuck my hand under his head, a favorite form of touch for him, and felt the small vibrations of his sleeping purr. I listened to his tiny snores that have gotten much louder in his old age. Through our living room window, I watched the sky turn from gray to periwinkle and then to blue, behind the trees across the street. When I lay on the couch in that direction, I can't see the houses, just the beautiful tree tops. Sometimes, I imagine that we live in the forest, surrounded by nature, instead of the middle of the city.

Tears started to stream from the outside corners of my eyes, across my temples, and into my ears and hair, as I remembered all the years I had with you, and the last day I saw you alive.

I hate that I can't call you. I hate that everything changed after you left. I hate that you haven't seen any of my thirties, and how I overcame massive mountains I never thought I would. I hate that you didn't get to go on wildflower hikes with me, or play guitar duets with me (or even piano duets, even though I never wanted to before). I hate that you didn't get to hear me sing a solo on a video posted to my Instagram page. You know how big of a deal that was for me to do. I hate that you aren't here to talk about my small patch of gray hairs, or the fact that you were a grandma at my age, and I'm not a mom, and how different our lives are. I hate what cancer did to you. I hate that it took your beautiful vibrant personality and locked it into a dying shell. I hate that I only speak of you in past tense, and there are no new photos of us together. I hate that the last photos of us together are the ones of you on your way out of this world. I hate that the last time I touched you, I was kissing your cold forehead, and telling you goodbye.

I hate that it's been 9 years. But, I'm also happy it has. Those first few were some of the most painful of my life to date. I still miss you always, but this year, as well as the last few, it seems like I'm forgetting about the bad parts of it all. I seem to be that way more and more, living without all of the sadness. I guess that's what moving on with life looks like. I guess that's what healing looks like. One of our last real conversations before cancer took your conversational abilities from you, you told me that you weren't worried about me and you were proud of me.

Your actual last words to me, a couple days before you were gone, were:

"Am I ok?"

"Yes." I said. I lied, sort of.

"Are you ok?" You said.

"I will be," I said, but not certain of the truth of it.

I am ok, now, Mom.

And... I miss and love you.

Love always,

Your Daughter

Join the conversation!

Thanks for stopping by The Joy Blog! I hope you like what you have seen so far. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comments. I try to respond to almost every single comment.

Latest Instagrams

© THE JOY BLOG. Design by FCD.