I made it through yesterday, mom.
I didn’t go to work. I thought about it. I was actually in the car on my way in when I realized something.
It’s been one month. That one month against 324. That’s 27 years. That’s how long I had you in my life. It doesn’t seem like much does it? When you type it out like that… I had less than 400 months with you. I only had 27 years.
And maybe it’s selfish to type it out like that. Some people get less than that. Some people never get to know their parents. But in my little bubble of hurt and loneliness I feel cheated. I thought I would have more. I thought my life would be different. Our lives would be different. But this is reality and in reality I only had 27 years.
This month is the first month on the opposite end of the scale. I’ve had one month without you. And as I was driving to work I realized that there may come a day for me where I’ve had 325 months without you. There may be a day where the scale tips over to the other side.
Realizing that sucked. A lot. I didn’t feel like sitting in lab doing nothing for four hours with only my thoughts to entertain myself, and most of those were depressing to begin with, so I didn’t go in.
Well, I went in and asked if I could leave, was told yes, so I left. They could have said no but it wouldn’t have mattered. I didn’t have it in me to stay yesterday and, for the most part, the only reason I’m in Orlando still is to help with this transition in the class, so I really don’t care if I get fired. Not that I’m going to go out of my way to be a jerk or anything, but I’m going to be kind to myself and staying yesterday would have been emotionally harmful for me, so I didn’t stay.
Instead, I went to the gym where I worked out too hard. I’m sure that’s not much of a shocker. I biked, I rowed, I ran, and I did machines. That meant I was super tired last night, and still tired today. I’ve come to the realization that working myself to exhaustion is going to be dangerous. It was hard not to sink into depression today. My body was so tired, so weary, that mentally everything else was harder as well.
It might not have helped that it was a low energy day for everyone. It rained all of yesterday, so today was bright and sunny but cold and windy. It was a curl up on the couch and do a bunch of nothing sort of day.
I did end up going to the gym for yoga. It was a nice 20 minute post running flow and it helped stretch out my legs and get rid of the soreness that I had. But yeah. I don’t think I’m going to do a workout as intense as the one from yesterday for a little bit. Not until I’m conditioned better. I didn’t like the struggle of this morning and it’s not kind to myself to knowingly put myself in those situations.
So lesson learned. Don’t over do it at the gym.
I talked to a new tattoo artist yesterday. I have an appointment on Monday to get your tattoo. They weren’t able to do it yesterday, which I understood, and they’re not opened on Sunday.
I’m worried about Sunday. It seems silly. I never thought of Mother’s day as a big deal. I would send a card, sure. I would make sure to call and to let you know I loved you, but it never “meant” anything to me. It was just another event on my calendar.
I’m so sorry, mom. I’m sorry that now that you’re gone I truly understand the importance of Mother’s Day. I guess it’s true that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
I’m sorry I never valued that day. Not truly. I’m sorry that now that I do that you’re not physically here for me to lavish you with everything you deserve, that I didn’t do that everyday for you.
I’m sorry I didn’t call more often. I’m sorry I didn’t visit home more often. I’m sorry that, even though I know that I was an awesome daughter, that I wasn’t better and that there are feelings of guilt that I have to work through. I know you know I loved you and I know that I lived life pretty well, but I’m sorry that I feel like I should have done better, made better choices, and I didn’t.
I know you don’t want me to feel guilty, and I know you understand this is all just part of that annoying process of grieving, but I need you to know that I’m sorry. I need you to know that I wish I could take you out to eat at Moe’s for lunch. I need you to know that I haven’t been there yet. That I can’t see myself going there and not crying.
I know I’ll sit down with the basket of nachos in front of me and I’ll remember all of the times we went out together, and I’ll be filled with pain because I’ll think about how I can’t have that anymore rather than focusing on the awesome times we had. I’ll remember your smile, your laugh. I’ll remember all of the conversations, both serious and silly, and I’ll feel so horribly alone that I’ll cry and most likely not eat.
I know I need to go through that. I need to heal. I need to face the reality that you’ll never physically sit across from me at Moe’s ever again. It’s not easy though. And I’m sorry that it’s not easy and that I’m struggling with this adjustment.
Our relationship is spiritual now. It’s different. I don’t talk to you as often as I know I should. When the feeling of calling you wells up I should just talk because you’re there, instead of feeling like I can’t talk to you simply because you’re no longer able to answer the phone. You’re here, around me. Always. I’m allowed to believe that. I’m allowed to believe what I want without feeling bad for it. And that’s what I choose.
I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t write yesterday. I’m sorry if that hurt you or made you feel unloved because that’s not what I wanted. That’s not what I meant. I didn’t know what to do. I still don’t. Not always. I’m still trying to figure it out, this new relationship with you, and I’m sorry if sometimes I do things wrong or drop the ball or unintentionally hurt your feelings.
I have an idea for what I want to do Sunday. I think it’s going to be painful, emotionally, but I also think it will be healthy for me. I think that I’m going to drive to the beach Saturday night and get a hotel room. I think I’m going to take your urn with me, and in the morning, I think I’m going to go out to the beach and sit and watch the sunrise with you.
I know we’ve never done that together while you were here. I know it’s not continuing a tradition or anything, but it’s something that I want to do. You were my light. My sun. Maybe we can watch the sun rise together and it can help me feel close to you on what should have always been an important day.
I also plan on sending cards to Jason and Jon and Lio. I know it’s going to be hard for them. It’s going to be hard for all of us for different reasons. But I want them to know that even though it’s hard and it hurts that they’re still loved.
Therapy has been going well. She gave me a small bottle of bubbles for my “inner four year old”. I told her about my brain and how I personify my different halves as a scientist and a child. She gave me the bubbles and said to use them. To think about my worries and fears and to watch the bubbles float away and pop.
Maybe I’ll to that with you on Sunday. While we’re at the beach, while I’m talking and being open and honest about my fears. Maybe that’s when I’ll let myself cry and feel small and vulnerable and like the lost child I try to hide and cover up with to-do lists. Maybe I’ll let her have some time with you and those bubbles and maybe it will help me figure things out.
I’m supposed to start talking about dad next time because I finally got around to mentioning him. I said how you showed me how to be strong by carrying on when he left. You were always strong, mom. I’m sure you doubted yourself and worried and had fears just like I do. But you were always amazing.
You were the best person in my life, and I hope, with every fiber of my being, that you knew that. I hope you knew how grateful I was to have you in my life. To be able to say you were my parent. My mom. You did so much for me, and I hope you know that I was, that I am, grateful for everything you did.
I love you mom. Forever and for always.