This post is probably not what you think it’s going to be about.
When I was 23 my mom died. I was 5 months away from graduating with my Masters Degree and 6 months away from getting married.
I don’t know when I realized she was dying- but I can tell you that by the time I realized it, it was too late. I didn’t have enough time to ask her all of the questions that I now sift through daily. I didn’t have enough time to sit in her bed on a Saturday morning and snuggle her small body. I didn’t have enough time to tell her how much I love her and how proud I am to be so much like her. And just like that- she was gone. And I was numb.
As I sorted through her room I started to learn things about her that added a new depth to her life. I saw her notes in the craft room and how she carefully selected certain patterns for different occasions and people. I saw her study books and the meticulous study guides from when she went back to pharmacy tech. school. I found her journals from college and early in her marriage. I found the baby blankets and baby clothes she had carefully made for my babies and tucked away so I couldn’t find them.
That was when the grief first hit me. It was like something slammed straight into my chest. I could not inhale or exhale, and the whole world froze around me. I spent hours in that room, sorting through all of these items she touched, desperately seeking her in the midst of them. I felt that if I searched long enough, hard enough, I would find answers to all of the questions I never asked, and a final word from her to ease my grief. I am still searching.
Tonight I opened up her boxes of yarn that I’ve been saving all this time, waiting for the pain to go away. When I saw her projects and notes again, I wept for the first time in a very long time. It’s been over 4 years and I still desperately want to know what the skeins of purple yarn were for, I want her to show me how to make these gifts, to teach me her trade. I felt that crippling grief again; I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe. I had the instinct to call her and say how upset I was and wait for her to whisper things that would help me feel better. But she can’t- the comfort I so desperately seek is not there. So I breathed in deeply to smell the yarn she had chosen, the projects she made with her own hands, and I wept.
At that moment, for the first time I thought that I may not be able to do this- to be a Mom- without my Mom to help me through it. I feel so helpless in this process, and all I want is to call her, or to crawl on her lap and have her tell me it will be okay. I just want it to be okay…