Friday, July 24, 2009

Counting, Always Counting

Joan and Hunter Laugh

Numbers... Ask anybody who knows me. I loathe them. They are not now, nor have they ever been, my friend. I'm bad at math, terrible in fact. Dyslexic & all kinds of backasswards when it comes to numbers. Can't remember phone numbers or street addresses for jack. My checkbook is in a constant state of "who-the-eff-knows-what-my-balance-is?"...

Yet, when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, etc. the numbers manage to stick in my head & I can't get them out. 'Course, it helps that I keep a calendar.

2 years. Today.

Yeah, okay. So it's been 2 years. Some of you would say I should "get over it" already. And yeah, I know I should be celebrating the wonderful, awesome, warm fuzzy stuff about my mom -- rather than being stuck in the sadness of the day she died.

But that's just stating the obvious. It's so much more than that. B/c really, my mom was gone long before July 24, 2007. Really, I'd been without my mom for nearly 12 years; as Alzheimer's slowly & cruelly robbed her mind of memories & robbed her body of the ability to function.

Over a decade of not having 100% of my mom. Over a decade of knowing it would eventually take all of her. Over a decade of knowing that if I ever had a child, ever got married, ever had any significant event in my life period, she wouldn't be there to share it with me. To talk/walk me through it. To hold my hand (figuratively & literally). And frankly y'all? That's the part that sucks the most about today. It's a big fat reminder of what I haven't had for a long, long time.

Paris Metro with my Mom

So here we are.

2 years. And counting. When will I stop counting? When will July 24 cease being painful? Or July 12 (my dad)? Or July 7 (my dogs)?

Mom never stopped counting the years since her own mom's death (July 25 1962). The loss of my grandma "Pink" was that significant to her. She'd tear up every time grandma came up in conversation. Every. Single. Time.

I feel like that. Close to tears on a regular basis. Waves of grief. Scents. Sounds. A song. Anything seemingly trivial can trigger it. Even seeing an old lady in a shop, or on the street, or a restaurant. It knocks me over, the breath sucked right out of my chest. A desire to curl up & cry my face off, but not being able to.

As cliché as it sounds, I miss her down to my marrow. Deep as the effing ocean. I miss all that she represented as a mom. MY mom. F*ck, I miss her most of all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


One year since your body quit this earth & your soul flew (hopefully to a place of peace & freedom from all that ailed you)... Nearly three years since this picture was taken. I'm glad I at least have one photo of you with her. I'm also glad there is a teeny glimmer of pride & perhaps even joyful amusement in your eyes.

Dad and Dex - Aug 2006

Your 2nd & 3rd granddaughters arrived. But then mom left. Then you. Then your two children decided not to be brother & sister anymore. Blessings and grief, all intertwined. I'm not sure how I feel about any of this today, except to tell you I think of you (& mom) every single day. Sometimes with tears, often with smiles & laughter.

So, as your daughter, on this day of mourning & remembrance, I light a candle for you. Even if it wasn't always easy for either of us, I loved you dad. And damn, if I don't miss you something awful.