It’s June 8 and My Mom is Still Gone

I was getting dressed for a wedding when I got the call.  My husband and son were in the wedding party – they were getting into their tuxes…I was standing there in my slip.  “You’d better get here” my sister said into the phone “if you want to say goodbye”.

Get there I did, alone.  I drove, weeping all the way, knowing that it was really going to happen.  My mother had cancer.  Colon cancer that had spread.  Everywhere.  She suffered horrible pain.  Still, I did not want her to go.

One of my tires threw a steel belt on the drive.  It thumped, thumped, thumped…I did not stop to change it, but drove on, weeping.  At the hospital I sat by her bed, holding her hand until she briefly roused.

“You came”, she said weakly.

“Of course”, I said, squeezing her thin hand – which once had looked so much like my own.  Stong, capable, with stubby puffy fingers and rings too tight.  Now her rings spun around her spindly fingers, tendons visible probably for the first time in her life.

“Where is Eric” she asked, inquiring as to the whereabouts of her first grandchild.

“In a wedding”, I said.

“I’m so sorry”, she said.  So like her to apologize for inconveniencing anyone.  She slept some more; I wept some more.

“I see horses,” she whispered.  “They’ve got wings.”

“I love you, Mom” I leaned close and whispered in her ear.

“I love you, too”.

I left the room then.  In the hallway my youngest brother (7 years old) asked my step-father when they could take Mommy home again.  More weeping.  I kept walking.  And walking.  I walked the halls most of the night, refusing to leave even when my husband and son showed up after the wedding and reception.

My mother died early the next morning.  I miss her every day.  Especially every June 8.

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10 Comments

Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

10 responses to “It’s June 8 and My Mom is Still Gone

  1. K8edid, what to say … This is a beautifully written memory. At the risk of sounding harsh, cancer and death suck. It’s true. The beauty of your Mom, however – lives on through you.

  2. Thank you. Sometimes I feel like such a baby, still crying after 31 years because my mother is gone. Cancer and death DO SUCK, but so does suffering and pain. She had a life that was too short, and too filled with sickness and pain. She was the funniest person I have ever known and even cracked jokes about her terminal illness.

  3. tsonoda148

    Beautiful tribute to your Mom! Sadly, my Mom passed away when I was 38 and I was in another state when it happened, so I wasn’t with her. We were not close, but she was still my Mom and I mourned for quite a long time after that.
    Bless your heart. So happy we found each other. I look forward to following your blog.
    Terri

  4. Ah, I can so relate. My mom died of cancer 34 years ago. I was 29. The sense of loss never lessens. I am already several years older than she was when she died. Each day, beyond age 60, I get to be the age she never could be. I get to do that for both of us.

  5. This is so touching; thanks for posting your story and the lovely photo as well.

    • Thanks for stopping by – she was a beauty. She lived only 42 years and dealt with polio, multiple surgeries and illness, and succumbed to cancer with 3 little boys still at home. She taught me a lot about grace and gratitude…

      I enjoy your posts very much.

  6. Oh, my tears as I read this! I remember going to close the HR office door (to pump, for my then six-month-old son) and pausing at the sound of a text message. Minutes before, I’d sent my sister a text message asking how Mom was doing. Her message said:

    “She is at peace finally”

    And my hand flew off the doorknob to my heart as a coworker, Pat, saw the look on my face and ran to me. She ushered me into the HR office, closed the door, and hugged me while I sobbed. I called Ba.D. in a daze and told him my mom was gone. I then talked with my boss, who’d known the moment was coming, and took a coworker’s offer to leave work early and follow me to my son’s day care to make sure I made it safely.

    Before I left the office, I posted a status on FB:
    “I drove to work wishing she would find peace, but I’m heartbroken now that she’s gone. Always and forever, Mom. Always and forever, I will take you with me.”

    Messages of love and comfort were nonstop as I packed my bags and flew to Eugene on a flight purchased with my brother-in-law’s frequent flier miles. As we flew, I hugged my little man and wept, trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, for the first time, I would be flying into a Eugene in which my mom no longer lived.

    I’ve written none of this before. I’m bawling as I write it, but it feels good, too, to revisit the memories from a place where my mom’s death isn’t the first thing I remember about her anymore.

    Thank you for linking this post, and allowing me to see this experience and your heart.

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