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.

9 comments:

Annette said...

You grieve as long as you need to. Took me 10 years to "get over" my grandmother's death. Not that you ever really get over it. The pain and loss just becomes .... bearable.

July sucks for you hun, no doubt about it. Wish I could do something to make you feel better.

Samsmama said...

Wow, July is just a horrible month. I'm so sorry. I can't imagine not having my mom around. Thinking of you today.

Karlynn Moller Rossetti said...

I know there's not much I can say to make you feel better. It does suck. You have a right to cry and be angry and frustrated. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I haven't lost my mom, but I have lost my Grandma.....who has more influnce pulsing through my veins than any other human being. So, I have a bit of understanding. So many reminders, every day. The warm fuzzy memory stage takes a long time. And sometimes, it will still escape..and you'll feel angry and sad and alone. Each day just has to be taken one at a time.
*BIG HUGS* to you on this tough day, my friend. Hang in there....

Smiling, Beguiling said...

Thanks everyone. I'm ready for August. Or maybe even September. Really.

Noodle said...

I strive to become a good enough mom that my daughter will miss me in this way. Some days I think I succeed, other days I'm not so sure.

Martini Mom said...

My dad's been gone 8 years, and I guess I'm "over it." But it took a long time. There's no defined period of grief; it takes as long as it takes.

What does "over it" mean, anyway? I'm not every going to stop missing my dad. The anniversary of his death, his birthday, Father's Day; these days are still hard for me. I expect they always will be. Anything that reminds me of him: baseball, Bob Dylan, the smell of spearmint gum... these things all make me miss him. Sometimes the memories make me sad; sometimes they don't.

Bottom line: you have every right to be sad for as long as you need to be.

May August come quickly for you...

Devyl Gyrl said...

This is not a bad thing, sweetheart. Your mother's memory lives on through you, through the things you share and the things you keep in your heart. The more you recognize that this is a reminder of what you missed out on, you can remind yourself (and tell your beautiful daughter about) the wonderful things you DID share with her, before Alzheimer's caused her to stop remembering/enjoying things.

My (step)mother died of cancer - after a decade-long struggle - in January 2005. I still tear up when I think of her, and June is a horrible month for me - both her birthday and my brother's death-iversary (car accident when he was 16) are in June. What sucks most about that - it is also the month for my daughter and niece's birthdays (my niece's birthday is the same day as the anniversary of my brother's death - she turned 1 the day he died).

The pain for some of us becomes more manageable ... and I truly feel it has to do with the way we handle it, the way we focus on it, and the way we share.

Hugsnkisses, tons of love. xoxoxo

Martini Mom said...

My dad's been gone 8 years, and I guess I'm "over it." But it took a long time. There's no defined period of grief; it takes as long as it takes.

What does "over it" mean, anyway? I'm not every going to stop missing my dad. The anniversary of his death, his birthday, Father's Day; these days are still hard for me. I expect they always will be. Anything that reminds me of him: baseball, Bob Dylan, the smell of spearmint gum... these things all make me miss him. Sometimes the memories make me sad; sometimes they don't.

Bottom line: you have every right to be sad for as long as you need to be.

May August come quickly for you...

Karlynn Moller Rossetti said...

I know there's not much I can say to make you feel better. It does suck. You have a right to cry and be angry and frustrated. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I haven't lost my mom, but I have lost my Grandma.....who has more influnce pulsing through my veins than any other human being. So, I have a bit of understanding. So many reminders, every day. The warm fuzzy memory stage takes a long time. And sometimes, it will still escape..and you'll feel angry and sad and alone. Each day just has to be taken one at a time.
*BIG HUGS* to you on this tough day, my friend. Hang in there....