I was woken this morning by a debilitating headache. As my head throbbed, I got out of bed, took two Tylenol and waited for the medicine to start working. As I lay there, I tried to figure out what had caused the pain. I went through a number of possibilities, but none of them seemed to make sense.
A short time later, Brady woke up and said, “It’s June 6th, right Mommy?” And there it was. Yes, today is June 6, 2016.
Ten years ago today, my world changed forever.
Ten years ago today, I learned that bad things definitely happen to good people.
Ten years ago today, my dad and brother showed up at my front door unannounced and their faces told me the worst news that I’d ever heard.
Ten years ago today, my mom died and took a huge piece of me with her.
I wish that I could say that it has gotten easier. It hasn’t, and in fact, it has gotten harder in many ways. But I’ve gotten used to the fact that I don’t have a mom. And I hate that.
I often ask myself: How would life be different now if she were still here?
My dad would laugh more. And he wouldn’t say, “Damn, I miss her” a few times a week. He would have someone to tell his funny/long-winded opinions to. And he would hear, “Come on Ward. You’re talking the fool,” on a very regular basis.
My aunts wouldn’t feel her absence when they are together. They wouldn’t miss her opinions and her funny takes on all situations. They wouldn’t grab the phone to call her and then have to just put it down again.
My brother wouldn’t miss the person that he not only looked like, but acted like too. He wouldn’t have to merely tell his wife about his mom, since he met Michelle just one month after my mom died. He would get to talk to the person who adored him, but also always called him out.
And I wouldn’t feel incomplete. I wouldn’t have to imagine what kind of grandmother she would have been. I wouldn’t walk through Mother’s Day in a haze just counting down the minutes until the day is over. I wouldn’t have a huge hole in my heart.
When my mom got really sick, I had a hysterical conversation with Rox who had been a best friend to my mom and like a big sister to me for many years. Through distraught tears, I asked, “Who is going to replace her?” And Rox very wisely said, “No one. There is no one that could ever replace your mom in your life.” And she was right. There is no one that will tell me the honest truth at all times. There is no one who will always say the perfect thing when I need to hear it most. There is no one who can give me advice on how she made parenting look so easy when it can often be so hard. There is no one who loves and adores me with a passion that I could feel every day of my life. There is no one like a mom. But for me, I was crazy lucky for 30 years, because there was truly no one like my mom.
Ten years ago, I lost the best mother there ever was. I lost my ability to always look on the bright side. I lost my best friend. I lost my compass. Ten years ago, I lost my mom. And I am still lost without her.