Today is a DOOZEY.
Next Monday is Ground Hog Day … the day my mother passed away. It will be 21 years without her.
No matter how hard I try, this day and the few leading up to it, never get easier. On top of that, today I am officially the age at which my mother passed away. She lived 167 days past her 46th birthday and today I am exactly that age. Yes, I’m kooky enough to have figured this all out. Tomorrow I will have lived a longer life than my mother did. It is heartbreaking that she was born, lived a life, battled cancer twice and died all in that short time. It’s hard to wrap my head and heart around it. Wow.
Perhaps had my mother not died so young, things like this wouldn’t bother me so much. I have said before that when I had meningitis I got a glimpse of what she went through.
There were about three days when my labs confirming whether I had viral or bacterial meningitis were not in. Viral I would likely survive with varying side effects, and thankfully I did. But if it had been bacterial … um … that probably wouldn’t have ended so well.
It was a strange three days. I remember only a few things. I’d wake to various friends and family sitting with me in the dark. People holding my hand. I remember my husband bathing me because I was scared to let anyone else touch me. I felt so vulnerable. I missed my children desperately, but wanted them as far away from me as possible. God forbid they catch it! And when I was lucid enough, I wondered what would become of them. What could be in store for them if they were to lose me at such a young age? They were so little, 9, 7 and 4 years old. Reese hadn’t even been born! It broke my heart thinking of what they would go through. It wasn’t about me lying there facing my own mortality. It was all about them. I wanted them to know I would never leave them willingly. That they were the only things that ever truly mattered in my life. They were my purpose. My greatest love. My purest joy.
Days like this, I battle many demons. Demons that won’t ever go away. They may lay still or quiet but they always come back to fight. I have accepted this. I don’t like it, but it is part of my story. My life. I believe that had I not loved my mother so fiercely and genuinely that the demons wouldn’t be quite so unrelenting. But I did. And I am so very grateful for what my mother gave to me.
On days like today and Ground Hog Day, I remind myself that, although I didn’t get to experience life with my mother as long as I had expected or hoped, her love, influence and example were strong enough to last my entire lifetime. A lifetime that is now longer than hers … wow.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you are thankful for every love-filled moment you are given!!!