One hundred and eleven days since my mother’s beauty graced this earth. One hundred and eleven mornings I’ve woken up and immediately thought, “She’s gone.” It’s been an awful one hundred and eleven days. It’s been an awful task to face each day without her here.
But I do it.
I fix my children’s breakfast. I let the dog outside to pee. I shower. I buy groceries. I pay bills. I sit at my computer and try to write a humor article, but the funny just won’t come. I pick the kids up from school. We go to piano or ball practice. I cook supper. I give the baths and pick out tomorrow’s clothes. I watch television. I toss and turn in the dark bed. I stare at the little green light on the smoke detector. I pray. I cry. I go to sleep. I wake up and do it again.
I do it every day. I learn how to live without her. And let me tell you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Sometimes I sit on the bathroom stool, stare at the tile and think about doing this for the rest of my life. I want to scream at the thought of continuing this way- fixing breakfast, walking the dog, cooking supper, watching my daughter play ball- I want to scream and cry and beat the bathroom wall at the thought of living “normally” without my mama here. I cry at this new phase in my life. I cry for my mother and the lifetime I have left without her.
After I’ve felt sorry for myself, and suppressed the urge to scream and cry and beat innocent walls, I pull it together. I toughen up and convince myself that it won’t always be this way.
“It won’t hurt this badly forever,” I say. “It hasn’t even been a year. It hasn’t even been six months yet. This is still fresh. You won’t always hurt like this.”
I want to believe that, but I’m not so sure.
People often tell me, “The first year is the hardest. The first holiday and birthday are going to suck. Things will get easier with time.”
My daddy died years ago, and the firsts were the hardest, that’s true. But it’s been 22 years and I still mourn that man. Every Thanksgiving. Every Christmas. Every birthday. Every milestone. I’ve always felt a void because he wasn’t there.
And as much as I adored my father and ached at his absence, he was not my mother. My mother was everything to me.
This loss hurts significantly more.
Deeper. Sharper. Tougher.
Years from now, I fear I’ll still just be going through the motions. I’ll watch my daughter walk down the aisle on her father’s arm, and I’ll shed a tear for my mother who adored her. My son’s wife will give birth and I’ll ache that I can’t pass the baby over to my mama. I’ll sit in a chair in a retirement home, with drool seeping from the corner of my mouth, and I’ll beg the Lord to let me come on Home so I can see her again.
I’ll never get over this loss. I’ll continue to function. I’ll parent. I’ll laugh with friends. I’ll keep fixing the breakfasts and running the errands. I’ll live, but my heart will always long to be with her.
I’ll always weep for my mama.