Monday, September 1, 2008

“…Too soon, too sudden, the wrenching apart, that woman’s heartbeat heard ever after from a distance..."

“… the loss of that ground-note echoing whenever we are happy, or in despair.” --from Transcendental Etude, by Adrienne Rich

The wrenching apart, the loss of your mother. Every year, every change in my life. Every time I laugh out loud and am reminded that I laugh like her. Trying to become a successful adult with no idea how to get there and the one person I want to guide me is not able to do so. Huge life decisions are made with a wavering faith in myself. Thinking, what would my mother do and having absolutely no idea how to answer the damn question.

On May 27th, my mom, the center of my 8 year old world, my life force, took me into her lap and told me that there were no more drugs that the doctors could give her that would make her better. The cancer would never go away and it was going to kill her. She told me how much she loved me and how proud of me she was. How she would always be in my heart and watching over me. Somewhere, there is something about rain that always reminds me of her and I have snippets of something she said regarding the rain and thinking of her. But it is just out of my 8 year old reach. Hours later that night, my mom was finally able to stop fighting the good fight that had sucked every ounce of strength and health from her body. While I was sleeping, surrounded by all of her family and close friends, my mom took her last breath and was gone forever from this earth. I became a motherless daughter.

In the early 90's, they had no idea how to cure Colon Cancer. Hell, they thought she had the flu until the cancer had spread throughout her entire body and it was too late to do anything about it.

I realized something this weekend. It is one of those thoughts that hits you like a ton of bricks, yet rather than think about it, I pushed it to the back of my mind and have left it to simmer there until now.

I am in a huge rush to get married, because I don't know if I'll make it past 36. My mom didn't, so why should I, right? At 26, my mom was 2 years away from finding out she was pregnant with me. She was just on the cusp of marrying my dad and was 4 years away from divorce and becoming a single mom. She was 6 years away from her last healthy moments. And 10 years away from death.

Am I living as though I only have 10 years left to do everything in my life? You bet. Why? I don't know, because I didn't realize it until about 72 hours ago. What if I'm 30 and unmarried? I feel as though I'll never be able to have children if I'm not married when I'm 30. All the things I want to do with my life, all of the experiences I crave; I have this deep seeded fear that the clock is ticking and I have to rush, rush, rush. This can't be healthy. I have to come to terms with this somehow.

How unfair to Greg that I have lived my life this way, even if it was unknowingly. The expectations I lay at his feet with no reasonable reason why things need to be accomplished on my schedule and not our schedule. Somewhere deep in my psyche is this terror that I am not going to be able to experience marriage and children. I must admit that I have been very short-sighted. Get married, have kids. Then what? I don't know. I guess that on some level I never expected to make it further than that. How unnerving is that?

What to do with this new found knowledge? Again, I don't know. Do you live like you were dying or do you live like you have all the time in the world? Where is the happy medium?

Somehow, more than 18 years after my mom was no longer a physical presence in my life, she is still next to me, near me, inside me. Without knowing that my mom was a naturalist, I have become a high heel hippie. I have many of her good personality traits and a few of her no so good ones as well.

Together, you, I, all of us, we'll see where this road leads.

Much love.

3 comments:

Evil Stick Man said...

I can only imagine how rough it is losing a parent at all, let alone at that young age.

I like to think that I live like it's my dying day, but in all honesty I can't really say that. I spend too much time doing non-productive things that I can only be assumed to be living as if I was going to exist for centuries.

Jess to the Lo said...

I loved your insight.

It made me cry.

We all have things from our youth that we are recovering from. Some are harder than others.

We all have to find the happy medium in life, it is so much harder than others say it is!

laura beckman said...

i think this is my favorite post of yours. its reassuring in its weird little way that im not the only one that thinks this way after the death of a parent.