I say it a lot but I’ll say it again; I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. My life. I love my husband, my daughter, my sisters, my in-laws and my friends. You are what makes my life go round.
Here’s where the big BUT comes in… BUT, It doesn’t mean I can’t miss my parents. That I can’t be sad that they are gone. Are your palms getting itchy? Sweaty? Do you feel something caught in your throat? Is your heart beating a little bit faster? Are you contemplating whether or not you will read the rest of this? Probably. Don’t worry you aren’t sick.
Death is swept under the rug these days. Like it never happened. Like the person never existed. The people that talk about them? I call them the brave ones. The ones with the right idea. The ones I can relate to. The ones I want to find and scream “I MISS THEM SO MUCH MY HEART HURTS, SO MUCH I FEEL LIKE MY BODY CAN’T HOLD IN MY HURT, SO MUCH I FEEL PEOPLE CAN SEE SADNESS VIBRATING OFF MY SKIN!”
It may seem like I have my shit together and good god I hope it doesn’t. Because I don’t. I have a large pile of shit and I just make it into pretty things. Like flowers. Like babies. Like pretty furniture. Like normalcy. It still smells like shit though, to me.
I want to talk about them. I want to tell you that my dad was the funniest person I’ll ever know. The kindest person I’ll ever know. The biggest squishy teddy bear dad I’ll ever know. He was social. He liked hanging out with his friends even if they were just standing around by their cars in the parking lot of our apartment building watching us run around. He loved to fish. I loved to fish with him. He had a little boat he bought when my mom was on a trip to Puerto Rico. I loved that boat. I want a boat just like it. He took me deep sea fishing once and told me not to eat my lunch yet. The water was turbulent and it would be best, for my sake, that I wait until we are further out in the sea. I threw up all over him. I slept most of the way. Why? Because I didn’t listen.
Now, I wouldn’t change those things because it taught me my father is a smart man. He was usually right and I love him for it. I love you, Daddy. A week before he was diagnosed he asked me what I would do if he died. He had to have known. He had to have known he was dying. That kills me. It literally causes me so much pain that I feel like I might drop dead at any moment. My response, you ask… “I will cry every day for the rest of my life.” My dad said “No, you won’t” and then gave me the last crushing teddy bear hug that I remember. That I miss. My dad wanted me to live life and crying every day, it ain’t living! He also kicked me out of his room when he was dying… because I wasn’t smiling. Because, crying every day and not smiling at your big teddy bear daddy during his last days, it ain’t living!
Now, my mom, that’s a fresh wound. That one seems the most unfair of all. I love my dad, truly. But my mom, I actually got to know my mom. As an adult. As a person. A friend. A woman. A woman who now knew better than to think her parents were trying to ruin her liiiiife! That’s the big difference in the pain department. I never got a chance to know my dad. To really know him.
I love my mom so much. I miss her so much. She was beautiful in every way. A kind woman. An honest woman. A fearless woman. My most favorite mom of all. That’s what I would always tell her. It was our joke. An obvious one since she was my only mom. I got to know that she loved my dad very much to the very end. She loved sci-fi movies. I don’t know why. She loved childish animated movies. Our last movie was UP. It was a good movie but I can’t talk about it. I can’t recommend it to people. Because then I have to tell them that I saw it while sitting in my mom’s old grey recliner while she sat in her new leather recliner. The one that had a control attached to help her get into standing position. Because she couldn’t do it on her own.
I got to cuddle with my mom like a child in the end. You know, I would visit her when she staying in the rehab home after her procedures and I would lay in bed with her. I fell asleep on occasion and the nurses said it was so sweet. What’s so sweet about wanting to suck up every last moment with your mom, hoping that maybe by some miracle you were the cure to cancer and merely laying cuddled against her chest you would cure her. What’s so sweet about wanting to die so that your mom could live? WHAT’S SO FREAKING SWEET? It’s not SWEET. It’s sad. It’s SO DAMN SAD.
The last day of my mother’s life was the worst day of mine. To see her and not to be able to know how she is feeling. To know that she’s alive in her skin but dying at the same time. To know that no words would adequately convey how much I loved her in those final moments. I felt like I was abandoning her when we were leaving the hospital. I went back one final time when the room was clear and I held her hand. I told her how I felt. I told her I didn’t want to leave. I had to leave. I tried not to look back. But she was smiling.. how could I not have one last glimpse of that smiling face? That beautiful mommy face.
You died smiling. You lived your life with a smile. It’s only fitting. I’m going to try to smile extra for you today. I hope you’re smiling now.. I hope you’re laughing.. I hope you are finding great joy being in each other’s company. I love you.
Oh how I love you.