Foreshadowing

This photo was taken the morning my mom died.

The week she went into the ICU was Spring Break week for me in school, so I pretty much moved into the ICU room with my mom.

That week was also Parent-Teacher Conferences for my son, and Student-Led Conference for my daughter.

Monday I drove like a bat out of hell to Des Moines, because the nursing home called and said she was going to Mercy Hospital (again) by ambulance. She’d been having trouble breathing. I left my home, 15 miles farther than the home from the hospital, and took the fastest way to the hospital (freeway). It’s a little longer, but you can drive faster (legally). I beat her there, so I waited in the ER waiting room next to a guy who appeared to be sleeping. I say appeared to be sleeping, because he would look like he was asleep, and then he’d lean over on my shoulder and try to continue his nap-taking. I would move, and he would sit straight up and then appear to go back to sleep, and then lean over again. This happened off and on for about ten minutes, and I finally moved. He smelled like poop.

After she arrived in the ER, they led me to another room, one that was darker and poorly lit, and asked me to wait there until she was processed and hooked up to machines and such. A doctor from the ER came into the room and told me that she’d stopped breathing on the way to Des Moines, and they had to put her on a ventilator in the ambulance. The machine was now breathing for her. Barry got there, and a chaplain came in to pray with us. (This made me nervous, because when he walked in, he said that the nurse called him and told him to come see us…that we would need him)

She was assigned to room 6 in the ICU, and we had to wear the yellow gowns and gloves (which I ended up pretty much living in for the week) in order to be in the room. I stayed Monday night. Went home Tuesday afternoon, for a shower, change of clothes, and Jessup’s P-T conferences, and then drove back to Des Moines for the night. The only visitors she had were a wonderful, caring couple from our church who drove down to see her. No one else came down during that whole week, and only Barry and I were there on Friday when my mom died. I’m sure no one expected it to end the way it did, and they all have busy lives, but she was proven right when she said that people would care for me, and people would care for Barry and the kids, but it wouldn’t make a difference if she were gone.

I stayed with her until Thursday, when I had Ainsley’s conference to attend, and I really needed another shower. I stayed at home that night, and left before the sunrise on Friday morning. I needed to be at the hospital early to meet with her doctors, and talk about the next steps. I took this photo (while I was driving-shh, don’t tell) because I felt it was a fitting picture, considering what I knew was coming, and what my future felt like at that point. I was facing a decision that I never thought I’d have to make, and I was (and have been) so torn by it. Did I make the right choice? Did I do what she wanted? Did the 36-year old me make the decision, or did the teenaged me make it? All I can do now is try to find comfort in the way things are now, and try to find the strength to go on.

I’ve been here again this past week or so. I’ve been having nightmares every night about my mom. About the choice I had to make. Dreams have always come easily to me, and this last week they’ve been dark. They’ve been looming over each day like a cloud. Knowing what they have been. Knowing that they are coming again. Fearing the sleep and rest I so desperately need.

Barry has done all he could to fix my outside, but my inside is still a lonely, ugly place. Someone recently walked up to me and said that it looks like I’m fine. It looks like I don’t miss her, and I seem to have gotten over her pretty easily. Then they followed it up with, “But, of course, you didn’t want her here in the first place, so you must feel such relief.”

Is that how people see me? A cold, cruel daughter that doesn’t/didn’t care about her mom? A woman who can just get over something like that without a thought or care? Do they think that what I’m feeling is relief?

Relief is not the word for it.

Guilt.

Fear.

Pain.

Shame.

Regret.

Loneliness.

An overwhelming sadness I cannot shake.

Medicine hasn’t helped. New clothes haven’t helped. A new hairstyle…nothing is helping me to shed these feelings.

I can only hope that somehow I will find out that I’m not as alone as I feel in this. I’m wishing that a lot of things were now the way they were a few years ago. Wishing that I felt more cared for. Wishing that there were people to turn to…a pastor to look to for guidance and comfort. One who would’ve been there for me when the choices about my mom had to be made. One who would have at least visited once during that week. The chaplain at the hospital was so nice, and very caring, but it’s not easy to pour your feelings out to a man who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know what you’re feeling, and is never going to see you again. I have a lot of unfinished feelings about my childhood, and about my mom, and things she did and said to me throughout my life. None of those were a reason to let her go, but all of those factored into my decision-making. In one morning, I had to make sure that I wasn’t being cruel, I wasn’t getting back at her, and that I was truly doing what she would have wanted, and what was best for everyone. TRULY what was best. Not just what was easiest. THIS was not an easy decision.

I challenge God to show me His will through this. To make me believe that it’s really for the best. To show me that I did the right thing. That the decision made was in His prefect will, and that it isn’t my fault that she’s gone. He has not done so to this day. Maybe in the future. Maybe He never will. Maybe I will have to live with this forever, and I will never get over it. But, I will tell you this: I don’t ever want to have to bury or lose another person I love. It’s too much. I’m at the top of my family tree. I’m tired of losing people. It’s been one person every six years on average, and there are so few left to lose. Those losses would be so much more devastating. So much more painful. And they would cause so much more anger than I’ve felt before. I was so angry when my dad died. I’m angry again at the loss of my mom, when she’d finally moved her to be closer to all of us, and now she’s gone.

I wrote all of that on June 29, 2012.

It’s now January 10, 2013.

I still don’t feel peace. I still don’t know if I made the right decision. I am confident that taking her off the machines was what she would’ve wanted. She didn’t want to be attached to machines. She stopped responding two days before she died.

She. Stopped. Responding.

Monday and Tuesday she would squeeze my hand or wriggle her toes when I talked to her. Wednesday she stopped. No movement whatsoever. No way to know if she was still there.

How could I tell if she was still there? How could I know? She wasn’t brain-dead, but she wasn’t living, either.

Wednesday and Thursday, even into Friday, I begged my mom to answer me. To respond in some way. Before I had that final talk with her doctor, I begged her. I cried and begged her to let me know she was still there.

Still, I got no response.

I remember feeling so empty that day. My thoughts were unclear all morning, until I heard the phrases that I knew I needed to hear. The things I needed to know before I could let go.

1. Your mom will be on a machine for months…very likely for the rest of her life. She will always be in a bed. She will probably never walk again.

2. Your mom is not living her life anymore. This…living on a machine…this is not living. This is not the quality of life she would want.

3. Any measures taken, from now on, will be to keep her comfortable. To get her beyond this place, would take extreme measures.

I needed to hear that it was permanent, that her quality of life would never improve, and the phrase “extraordinary measures”. I knew that once I hear those terms, that I could let go.

And I did. It was like the fog lifted.

At her request I let go.

At her request I didn’t have a service.

At her request I made the decision to say goodbye.

And I’m still sorry. I still hate that I made it. I hate that I had to make it alone. I hate that I didn’t celebrate her life in some way.

I hate that the person to hold my hands while I prayed about the decision was a stranger. Someone I was unfamiliar with. The person who should have cared, didn’t. They weren’t there. They were less than an hour away and were never there.

She said no one would care if she were gone. She was wrong.

I care.

Life with her was never easy, but I wanted my kids to see a fun side to her. To see her smile and laugh. I don’t think they ever saw that side. She’d been in pain and sick from the moment she moved here. I didn’t see it often, but I knew that side of her.

I still have the dreams. I don’t sleep much. I’ll go for weeks with no dreams, and then I’ll have them for several nights in a row. I’m hoping that they stop at some point. To wake up in the morning without having cried myself back to sleep at least once during the night. I long for a full night of rest and sleep. I can’t even remember how good that feels. I only seem to know exhaustion. I’m learning to live with it.

There is no easy answer when you’re getting through grief. There’s no road map that is perfect for everyone. This landscape is far different from the one I traveled all those years ago when I lost my Dad.

So I walk. Sometimes I crawl. Alone. My heart continually aching for the parents that I no longer have.

I pray that Barry and I will be around a long time for our own children, and eventually for our grandchildren. I pray that the steps we’ve taken to get healthy will have been taken in time. That they will have been enough.

For now, here I sit, a sad, broken, lonely, little girl.

Today is March 23, 2013.

It’s been one year.

11:35 a.m., March 23, 2012.

One year since that foggy morning. One year since I held a strangers hand. The chaplain came in a few minutes after I arrived at the hospital that final morning. He held my hands as we prayed. God blessed me with the same chaplain nearly every time I called that entire week. I needed a familiar face, especially that morning. I got one. He was a very caring man. Empathetic, easy to talk to, and most of all, available. He was there. His was the face I’d seen all week. He and Nurse Abbey saw me through that week, with it’s terrifying and difficult decisions. Together and separately they offered me peace, hope, comfort, and clarity.

That week of being alone. That week of knowing, feeling, fearing what was on the horizon.

One year and 12 hours ago, I watched my mom draw her last breath. Her body struggled. It seemed to be trying, but all efforts were in vain. Her body had been breathing for 69 years, and it was habitually doing what it was designed to do. The last breath escaped. Her torn, exhausted body was, at last, still. For some time after they took the tubes out, I secretly hoped that she’d just keep going. That she just needed that final push to start breathing on her own. That somehow she would fight through it, and keep going. Finally, it was clear to me that she was gone. Her mouth was open. Her eyes empty. All that remained of her was her shell, lying on the bed, bruised, torn, scarred, and battered, but she wasn’t there anymore. After such a long time of being in pain, she was gone, and her body was at rest.

Today’s date will live in infamy…in my heart.

I still feel alone. I still feel orphaned. I know that God takes care of the orphans, but I still feel it. My people are gone. There is no one to call and brag to about my fabulous children. There is no one to call and ask advice on tough situations. There are no more Saturday calls that, while sometimes I would have rather done anything else, I looked so forward to.

I have, especially over the past year, seen a lot of my parents in my children. The quirks, and the annoyances. The humor, and the drama.

I miss my parents. I realize now how important it is for family to be together, and for us to make memories while we can. I realize that, while my childhood memories might be abnormal to many, they are mine, and they need to be remembered. Now they are all I have.

Mom, I miss you. Daddy, I miss you, too. It’s scary to be at the top of the tree. It’s lonely.

I hang on with all my strength, all the while trying to let go so I don’t suffocate what I have left.

I’ve been so busy hanging on, that I’ve forgotten how to fly. I’ve forgotten how to let the ones I love fly.

So, here’s to flying. Here’s to letting go. Here’s to not being so afraid of being at the top, that I lose my focus on the view around me.

UPDATE: I survived the day…not too much worse for the wear. In fact, it was a good day. And it ended well. And that’s always the best.

Three Days With My Mom…

This isn’t meant to be mean. It’s a “vent” of sorts. It was a way to get out all the frustrations from spending three full days with her. Our relationship was already (and had always been) strained…at best. It was difficult. This was my release. Maybe you’ll find it funny. Maybe not. It’s not cruel. It’s honest. I took out the cursing…you’re welcome.

These are posts I wrote for my former blog. Each one is taken from something she said, or did…some little part of a conversation she and I had, or something I noticed while I was with her. As she got more and more sick, she would blurt out things that she’d wanted to tell me. As the days/weeks/hours wore on, her filter was less and less obvious/available. It seemed, as the time wore on, that she just didn’t care anymore. It didn’t seem to matter if my feelings were hurt, or if she seemed mean. If she wanted to say it, or thought of it, then she said it.

OK. Here we go…

THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY MOM, DAY ONE:

“Ball-hockey”. Apparently she’s trying to stop yelling “BALLS!” in public. She used to say “horse-puckey” when I was a kid. Maybe this is a mixture of the two. I’m not sure, but it’s annoying and she says it with fervor. Really, she should just say “****”, and get it over with.

I’ve been told that I haven’t looked good in clothes since I was in eighth grade. Back then I wore high bangs, my jeans rolled at the bottom with socks over the top of the roll, and every color of neon or hypercolor shirt available. Remember? The shirts that changed colors with body heat. Yeah! REALLY SEXY in the Arizona desert. Was that really my best year?

High bangs are better than flat hair. Why does a “big girl” like me have short hair? I should have long hair again. If I took more vitamins and drank water rather than Pepsi, my hair would be long again. What? In like, a week? ‘Cause I’d give it up for a week.

I am a smart-ass (always have been) and I need to stop it before she takes further action. I would LOVE to see what that entails. Maybe more nagging…

I don’t know nearly enough about fireflies. I know that they fly and that they light up, and no, its not really fire. What else does a person who doesn’t care about fireflies need to know about them? I guess because I live here, I’m the expert. Although, it’s been pointed out that I’m not much of an expert.

I don’t remember anything from my childhood correctly.

When she gives me my choice of one of two things, I better pick the one she likes less. That way she can have her favorite.

It’s not using the Lord’s name in vain if you’re in pain when you scream out JESUS! BALLS! in the middle of the hospital. I laughed because there was no pause. She just yelled out “Jesus balls!” in public! So random. And, regardless of what she thinks, it was really funny!

I heard “that’s not funny” about seven times. And yes, it was. Every time.

I should stay in my job because I haven’t finished college yet and that’s what I get. A loser’s job. “If you’re going to be a loser who doesn’t finish school, then you deserve that job.” Thanks, Mom.

If I say “****” all the time, no one will ever want me. So I looked her in the eyes and said, “Would it be better if I went around saying ‘Jesus balls’?” My smart-ass comment wasn’t funny either.

I love this precious time I get to spend with her. I’m going to miss it never.

THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY MOM, DAY TWO:

Kyle Chandler is apparently delicious. (I don’t even know who that is) She told everyone in the waiting room how good looking he is, and how he’s made her “list”. Gross.

There is more wrong with this woman than I have ever wanted to know. Medically. Enough that I will need to keep a list for when I go to the doctor.

I think she may be flirting with the nurse. “You have such a nice voice. I went to sleep thinking about it”. Gross.

When the nurse left, she said, “Nice to meet you, beautiful”.

It is inappropriate to drink rum and coke at noon. Even if you’re with your mom and you’re about to drive off a cliff/bridge/into a tree. But…if she could drink alcohol, she would have a margarita. At noon. And then you would have to watch her drink it. But that’s OK for her. Not for you.

In a restaurant: Don’t take the side of the booth facing the door. She doesn’t want someone to sneak up behind her and murder her. I guess it’s fine if they sneak up behind me, but she wants to know they’re coming.

If you say something is hot, use lots of adjectives and describing words. “Hot like flowing lava.” “Permanently blistering.” “Hot” is not good enough, and you will get yelled at for not warning her. Especially after she burns her mouth on something that you tried to warn her about, but because you can’t do it right, and you failed, she’s burned, and you’re to blame.

You need to have mad math skills. You should magically be able to figure the tip on a bill she won’t let you read, and for an amount she won’t give you. Basically, know what’s ordered, and approximately how much it costs, so you can figure the bill in your head. Add two dollars and work from there. “You should be smart enough to figure it without a calculator.” Well, I am, but fifteen percent of an unknown number can be kind-of tricky. I made her pay twenty percent of what I thought it would be. I rounded up. It wasn’t my money.

Pay more attention when you go to the bathroom (for the fifth time I might add) at Applebee’s because you don’t want to walk into the mens room accidentally and then freak some guy out and make him “miss”. (this is just a PSA…nothing to do with my mom. It’s good advice either way.)

Take care of your feet. A little lotion and loofah once in a while. Nice pedicure. Maybe some polish. Then they won’t be nasty. Oh, and if they are nasty…DO NOT PUT THEM UP ON THE DASH, AND MAKE *ME* STARE AT THEM THE WHOLE WAY HOME!!!

…it continues tomorrow…

THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY MOM, DAY THREE:

In a restaurant: The booth facing the door is the best seat in the house, unless there’s a TV. Then she gets the side facing TV. I guess it doesn’t matter if your murdered by a crazy person, as long as you can see the TV.

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are better than chicken strips. Unless you ordered the chicken strips, and she changes her mind. Then she will eat seven of the ten nuggets while complaining and saying they are “no good”. She will then trade you lunches (since she paid, this is apparently legal), and take two of your three strips. So, out of three strips you got one, and then three nuggets that are “awful”. Also, because she paid, she will take all the sauces. You will make a mental note to eat faster.

If there’s a coupon attached to your cup, peel it off right away. You cannot take a sip of the drink until the sticker is off of the outside of the cup. Also: there are bonus points for giving her the coupon, and not keeping it for yourself. Although, you are reminded, she did pay, so the coupon really belongs to her, even though she didn’t get a drink.

Don’t pause to take a breath while you’re talking. Not even for two seconds. Otherwise she will jump in to guess what you were going to say. She’s always wrong. Usually she proves that she only thinks the worst of you.

Being in a bathroom stall is not meant to be a deterrent from holding hands in the bathroom. Nothing is creepier than seeing a hand come from underneath the stall wall and a voice asking, “Will you please hold my hand? I need to feel your love right now.”

Really. Just picture it. Picture it now. Are you picturing it? Ok. Now, when you get done shivering, and possibly puking, go take a shower.

No matter where you park, it’s never close enough. Even when she gets to wait in the air-conditioned waiting room and you have walk a half mile in the apocalyptic heat (this is an excellent phrase to use to describe how hot something is…FYI) to get the car, which feels like it’s been parked in hell, and still isn’t cool when you get all the way to the pick-up/drop-off area to get her. She will complain about that, too. “Why didn’t you cool off the car first?”

Don’t admit to forgetting your drivers license. Ever. She will watch every move you make. Question everything you do. Point out everything you could possibly get a ticket for. Then while you’re boiling mad with a white hot heat like you’ve never felt before, still you will need to keep your cool so you don’t do something stupid and get a ticket. There’s an “I told you so” just waiting for you. It’s always there, and it wants out. Badly.

Don’t wear flip flops that almost match the color of your shirt. She will question why you didn’t get the ones that did match. If you say, “These were the closest they had to this color of shirt. Old Navy doesn’t take requests, nor do they customize colors for you.”, you will be ‘looked’ at. Then she will say, “You should have gotten black. Black goes with everything.” You will then remind her of a time when she HATED that you wore lots of black, claiming it went with everything, and she will wonder why you hold on to EVERY. LITTLE. THING. You will then be driving (with no license) and she will remind you of your first time behind the wheel, driving alone, and how you mowed down the neighbors fence and had to pay for, and help install, a new one over the summer. EIGHTEEN. FREAKING. YEARS. AGO.

You can smile later knowing that you can, in fact, dig holes with a post hole digger, and put up a fence if the need should ever arise. Well done, me. :-)

Also: be glad these daily trips are over for a little while (until late next week) an you can return to your normal-ish, boring life.

Thanks for playing along…

Tragedy, Privacy, and a Broken Smile

(I am really sad today, and this is a less-than-happy post. You have been warned.)

Tragedy is a funny word. Not funny “ha ha”. Funny in that it is so often misused. So often people say, it casually. It is not a casual word.

It is not a tragedy when the purse you want isn’t on sale.

It is not a tragedy when someone embarrasses you at school.

A tragedy is losing both of your parents before you’re 37. A tragedy is my kids growing up not knowing their grandparents. A tragedy is those grandparents never knowing my kids. A tragedy is losing a parent just as you are finally getting to know them. Having them finally move close to you (after 16 years of asking) and then you find out they have cancer, and then they die a year later.

THAT is a tragedy.

A tragedy is devastating.

I lost my father when I was 18. He died of a heart-attack. He’d had one before, and my parents kept it a secret from me. I came home from school one day, and he was dead. I sat with him for what felt like hours, crying and begging God to save him. To wake him up. To please not take my daddy from me. Did He hear me? Probably. Did He fix it? No. My dad died. I was devastated. That was a tragedy. I didn’t get over it. I still think of him all the time. I still hurt. I still feel his loss. His loss, to me, to my family, is still and will always be a tragedy.

Privacy is not lying.

Not telling someone everything about yourself is not lying. It’s keeping the private things private. That’s a big deal to some people. So, if someone doesn’t share every single thing, or every milestone, or every sadness, they’re not deceiving you, they’re being private. Private is, for some, a necessary thing. Not everyone looks at privacy as secrecy. Privacy is safety. It’s a way to not remember the parts of themselves that are broken or hurt. It’s a away to keep those parts safe. To allow them to heal. To help the pieces learn to function again.

I don’t talk about my dad’s death, because part of me is still broken. I still protect that part. I’m very private about that part of my life. Especially that day, and the days surrounding it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I don’t talk about my birthday. I don’t tell people the date. I will not be celebrating it at all. In fact, I’ve been given an opportunity to work. I will be at a health fair all day, promoting my company.

I would like the day to just go by. I would like it to be unnoticed.

My family will do something because they cannot do nothing. Otherwise, I hope to just live in peace tomorrow without any fuss.

I’ve always hated birthdays…that might be explained at another time. That is a private thing because of the pain that is associated with my past birthdays.

I was going to try to leave it up on Facebook this year. I was going to try to leave it there, so that if someone wanted to acknowledge it, they could. But I couldn’t do it. I made it private at the beginning of this month. I don’t think I will put it back on my Facebook page. That way it’s not an issue.

It might seem trivial to most people. Maybe it is. It’s not to me. If no one ever noticed another of my birthdays, it would be just fine with me.

I’m really sad today, and I’m probably not making sense.

It hit me this morning that this birthday will be the first of the rest without any parents. No phone call at 6:32pm (Mountain Time) from my mom telling me the story of my birth. How she got a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital from Officer Lamb. How he wouldn’t let her off with a warning. How he made her get out of the car and stand on the side of the road while she was having contractions in the summer heat of Arizona, waiting for him to finish writing the ticket so she could get to the hospital to have me “come into this world and make it brighter”. How my daddy wanted a girl so badly, and how he cried when he found out.

As many times as I rolled my eyes hearing that story, I’m devastated to know I will never hear it again. That is a tragedy.

Facebook status for today:

Tragedy: An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.
It is not missing a sale. It is not feeling embarrassed. It is pain. It is incredible suffering. It is a loss that cuts so deep, that you may never get over it. It is, more often than not, a word wasted on meaningless, trivial things. It is a loneliness that grips your heart and threatens to tear it out of you. It is falling and never stopping.

I am sad today.

I am sad because I have known tragedy.

I am sad because I have not recovered from it.

Out Of Focus

I am a little bit off today.

Sometimes I look inside myself and I know I’m there, but I feel like this picture. Off. Not quite right. The person is there, and you can see them, but they are out of focus.

I’m not sure why. I’m missing my mom really bad, and that is an unexpected feeling. I still miss my dad quite a lot, even after all these years, but to miss my mom is an all new feeling. I didn’t miss her when she lived in California all those years after we moved to Iowa. I missed her a lot when I was younger, but since she made her choices, I learned to live with them, and I stopped missing her as much.

The first restaurant here in Boone that we went to together nearly burned down this morning. Could that have something to do with it? Maybe. Maybe it’s that I can’t just call her if I want to. Maybe it’s still settling in that she’s really gone.

An old friend asked me how I was doing, but she asked it like this, “Aren’t you just dying without your mom?”. What an odd way to put it. The answer is no. I’m not. My world is still turning. Much like it was before she moved to Iowa. I don’t know what it’s like to be friends with my mom. I don’t know what it’s like to be close to her. I wanted to know. I tried to get close to her when she moved here. We got closer. We’ve never been close. She would complain to me after she moved here that I didn’t do enough with her. I didn’t spend enough time with her. I didn’t know how to respond to that. I wasn’t used to her being here. We’d been in Boone for eight years when she moved here. She was coming into our world, and our world is a crazy, busy place where one or more of us are going somewhere or doing something all the time. We tried to include her in things, but most of it was just daily life, and it was over before we knew what hit us. I would call or text and she wouldn’t answer, or vice-versa. It was so hard at first.

Even when we did live close to her in California, she stayed away. We would have to beg her to come over to see us and spend time with Jessup. She was kind of a loner. Always thinking that she was intruding on our space or our time. She raised me to be just like that, so why then did she expect her loner daughter to need her so much?

She was a complex woman. Sometime when I write about her it will seem as though I’m slamming her. Sometimes it will seem as though I’m cruel.

I will NEVER write about her just to be cruel. I will never write about her to make myself feel superior, or to make her look like a bad mother. She was a difficult mother, to say the least. She tried. That’s all any of us do. I’m sure that my kids have issues with me. I’m sure that if they don’t now, they will at some point. I’ve been the best mother I know how to be. I hope that they remember that. It’s hard, but I try to remember that she did the best she knew how to do. Her mother was not easy or kind to her (although she was never anything but loving and wonderful to me), so I know she had a tough time. Her model of what a mother should be was askew. So was mine.

Part of the reason I’m doing this blog is so that I can deal with this stuff I have in my head. I’m doing this so that I can let go, and go forward. I’m doing this so that I can forgive her for things she said and did to me that hurt me, broke me, ruined some part of me.

I keep trying to put her out of my head, and I’m realizing that I cannot do that. Not until I come to terms with some of these issues. Not until I forgive her and let it go. Not until I get it out.

I don’t have many stories where she is the hero. I don’t have many memories where she was really present at all. Many of the memories I have of her are painful. Many of them are memories of a way in which I was somehow damaged or broken by word or deed. Many of my memories are only of my dad, and don’t include my mom at all.

This is not a place where I will put things to get sympathy. I don’t want sympathy. I want my daddy back. I want to deal with my mother. I want questions answered that never will be. I want a lot of things, but sympathy is never one of them. Don’t feel sorry for me. I had the parents and the childhood that were chosen for me. I have to deal with that. I have to figure out what to learn and what to take away. I have to learn what to let go of, and how to heal.

I also ask you not to judge me. No one lived my life. No one was there every day behind closed doors. I am not an angry person. I get angry, but it is not my disposition to be that way. I’m a giggly, sometime funny, sometimes melancholy, usually silly girl. I like that girl. Hopefully you do too.

So, I’m out of sorts today. It’s weird to miss her. It hurts more than I ever thought it would.

Thus begins the inside stuff that no one knows about… But not right now. Right now I have a Bible Study to host.

That is all.