Why did my mom have to die?
That’s a question a kid would ask, not a 52-year-old woman. I’m supposed to be too old to be this grief-stricken but, too bad.
My mother died in 2017. I’m never, ever going to get over it. I’m just going to get on with it.
Get on with life.
So many mornings I wake up with a radiation door of grief upon my chest. The sun is still asleep and the room is still dark. But, one corner is awash with a soft glow from a jack o’lantern. It sits on the sill of the west window overlooking the street. I forgot to unplug it and it has kept watch over the neighborhood all night. Kept watch over me.
It is October, the month of my mother. It is October, best friend to the color orange. I like to think my mom is keeping watch over me.
So many days I text my sister, my daughter. “I miss mom. I’m having a hard day. I’m never going to be the same.”
They text back about how they saw her in a dream last night.
I long to dream about my mother. To see her face. To hold her hands. To hear her laugh. To share a cup of coffee together. People tell me I will see her again someday but, I won’t really know until I get there. Still, I tell my sister and daughter the same thing when they are sad. “We’ll see her again someday. In heaven. With God.”
Mostly, in the dark mornings, I remember her body on the floor, cold and hard and blue. That still really kills me. Kills us all. Sometimes, I remember her that way when I’m driving home from work. I-35 reminds me of my mom. On bad days I should try to go a different route.
I tried hard to bring life to my mother. Mostly, I succeeded except when I failed. When she was dead I wanted to run around and find the life that had slipped out of her but, she was gone.
I do my best to get on with life. I’m still raising Sullivan and Bridgette, which brings me great joy. I take great comfort in the Little Lady Willow, my granddaughter. I’m always so glad when I can help her and Juliette because my mom always helped me.
Every time I see Willow she teaches me things about my mother. Things I didn’t know.
Life now, without my mom, is an endless prairie of wind and sun. Lone tree and hail. The sky is dark but, there are stars. It feels as though she is in those stars, maybe. Nudging me to remember the happy times we shared. I do hope I will see her again someday. Until then, I’ll be keeping watch. I love you, Mom. Forever.