Regret


Shock, deep sorrow and mourning are only a few of the emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one.  But eventually, thank God, the shock wears off, the deep sorrow is lessened, the mourning wanes more than it waxes. However, one emotion that forever remains constant is regret. It eats you alive, that disgusting, painful, gnawing, cancerous regret. Thinking about it for only half a second takes you to that abysmal, dark, dreaded place in your soul that’s often too painful to even acknowledge.

Things you should have done, or said, shouldn’t have done or said.

I have regrets regarding both of my parent’s deaths. Regrets that will always haunt me, despite the hours of counseling sessions that attempt to brainwash me to forgive myself because I know, I truly know, my parents would have forgiven me had they lived long enough to get the chance.

Daddy was the first to die on a cold, wintry November day in 1992. I was angry with my father, as was my mother, because he’d been out drinking the night before he died. This was a big deal because he hadn’t had a drink in over a year, clean and sober for so long. But on the eve of his death, he thought a Jack and Coke at a camp house on the river sounded like a good time. Have a few drinks with friends, strum the guitar, a game or two of cards, another drink and another until it was after 2 am and my mother and I were both pacing the house while my mama prayed that he wasn’t dead in a ditch.

When he finally phoned home during the early morning hours, my mama really let him have it. I remember watching her yell into the cordless phone, her face beet red, her veins bulging, and she told him, “You won’t put us through this again. You’ll never put us through this again!”

He didn’t put us through anything again. He died the next day, after a round of golf at the country club. I was alone with him. Eleven years old, and I watched my father collapse to the floor.

I was still mad at my daddy when he drew his last breath.

Nearly twenty-three years later, September 18th, 2015 ( on my tenth wedding anniversary), I yelled into a phone. Eerily similar to the way my mother had shouted at my father on that cold November night. My neck vein was bulging as I examined my beet red face in the bathroom mirror. I stood at my vanity, the vanity that I stand at every day and replay the conversation in my head. I told my mother, whom I loved more than my own life- I told my precious, sweet mother, “I’m done with you, Mama. I AM DONE.”  The next night, my mother died. She died on my father’s birthday.

I was still mad at my mama when she drew her last breath.

Regret. It’s hot and sharp as iron. As I toss and turn in my bed night after night, tears soaking my face, I feel such intense regret that I just want to scream, to run, to make it stop. I want to close my eyes so tight that I wake up in Heaven with my parents. I want to wake up where they are and cry to them how terribly sorry I am.

My counselor tells me I have to let it go. I know I do. I know my father and mother have already forgiven me. They spend their eternity praising our Savior in a Heaven so real and pure and gorgeous that they are no longer concerned with matters of this earth. They feel no sorrow for my actions, my thoughts or my words. They aren’t angry with me. I know this. I really do know this. But I’m incredibly angry wifb_img_1458950766025.jpgth me.

You can tell me I have to forgive myself, but it falls on deaf ears. I simply cannot do it.

Despite the anger I felt towards them both on the last days of their lives, we were happy the majority of the time. I had a lovely childhood. My dad was a drinker for many of my adolescent years, but he was still a great dad. He was a good, hard-working man. He loved me unconditionally. I never doubted that I was the apple of his eye. I never doubted the love my mother had for me, either. She always made me feel beautiful, special and adored.

I think about this so often- why couldn’t my father have died while he was sober? Why couldn’t he have died when the feelings I had for him were, “I sure love my daddy”?

Couldn’t my mother have passed away in her sleep some other night? Any other night? One of those thousands, millions of other nights when I talked to her on the phone before bed, we laughed about any and everything, and my last words to her before hanging up were, “Love you, too, Mama.”

I think about it so often, how it all happened- how both of my parents died when I was angry with them. How I thought and said those vicious, callous things only hours before they were gone.

And then I go to that really terrible place. The regret is magnified by thousands when the thought crosses my mind that I’m somehow responsible for their deaths.

I know it sounds asinine. I didn’t kill my parents. God already knew the days they would die on the very days they were born. But still. From time to time, I think it may just be possible.

Was it my fault that my father died of a heart attack at 42? I mean, the man smoked like a freight train, not to mention the years of liquor that ran through his liver. But surely my cries over the phone for him to come home in November 1992 weren’t enough to break his heart, to make it actually stop beating? Surely his own regret wasn’t too much for him to bear, was it? screenshot_2015-09-21-21-58-32-1-1.png.png

And my mother, we were so close. She was everything to me, as I was to her. Our bond, our relationship was so resilient, so beautiful, but so messy at times. We were identical- both bullheaded and stubborn. That’s why we fought the day before she died. She didn’t agree with me, and she was too proud to admit she was wrong. I was too proud to bite my tongue. Did my words, “I’m done with you, Mama” make her blood pressure skyrocket? I was her baby, her little girl, even as an adult, so did my heartless, malicious words upset her so much that her heart just couldn’t take it?

That’s what I fear.

I wish I hadn’t been so mad at my daddy the night before he passed away. I was only eleven and didn’t understand that alcoholism was a disease. I just thought he drank that night because he didn’t want to be home with his family, and that made me angry. I thought he was a crappy dad for giving into temptation. The night before he died, I hated him. I didn’t think about what a good father he was before that night. I just knew that he was out drinking again, and I hated him for it.

I wish I had kept my mouth shut when my mom called me that sunny, September afternoon. Wish I’d pacified her anger with, “Okay, Mama.” If only I’d just shut up and let her have her way- been less proud, less stubborn. Then I wouldn’t have to live with the regret that the last words my mother heard from my lips were, “I’m done with you.” How that must’ve broken her heart. Her baby girl, her everything, the child she raised on her own because her alcoholic husband was dead, told her she didn’t want to have anything more to do with her.

Of course I didn’t mean it. I felt immediate guilt when I said it. I planned to call my mother the next day, as she drove down to Florida for vacation. I planned to call her and make amends and tell her that I was sorry. I’d never write off my mother. I’d never be done with her. She was my mother. My friend. My confidant. My spiritual advisor. The grandmother to my children. My laughing buddy. The only one who could rub my head until I fell asleep. She was the only soul that could pray such powerful prayers over me that I immediately felt the peace of God. Of course I wasn’t done with her. What an idiot I was to say such a callous thing.

And of course I didn’t hate my dad. I didn’t hate him, but I just didn’t want our family to be torn apart because of his drinking. I didn’t want my mother to divorce him. I just wish I hadn’t thought such horrible things about him before he died.

They are both gone but those words and thoughts remain. Gnawing and biting and ripping away at my soul. You see me laughing with my friends, cheering at my children’s ball games, posting funny videos. But it’s there. The last spiteful words I spoke to my mother, the last unkind thoughts I had of my daddy, that regret. It’s there.

And it always will be.wpid-20151029_134535-1-1.jpg

 

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About Susannah

I'm a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring best-selling author, wife of one and stay-at-home mother of two. I was chosen for the Top 13 in Blogger Idol and contribute pieces to The Huffington Post and Hahas for Hoohas. My work has also been featured in several humorous e-books, "Southern Writers’ Magazine", "The Humor Daily", "The Funny Times" and on the Erma Bombeck website. When I'm not putting pen to paper, bandaging boo-boos or spraying Shout on unidentifiable stains, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and teaching my children all about Southern charm. God has blessed me beyond measure and to Him be the glory forever.


25 thoughts on “Regret

  • Debbie Brothwell

    I feel your regret. ..one question. ..do you think your children don’t love you when they are mad at you. ..or do you love them just as much.

    • Debra Hudelson

      I understand. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, friend, family, licenced therapist. You have to work through it on your own. Even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, I get your torture. People that care for you tell you it’s ridiculous and unwarranted because they love you and know your heart and hate to see you in pain. Thank you for writing about it. I believe it will eventually help ease your guilt and pain, as well as help others that feel the same and are thinking they are alone in that feeling. God bless you Susannah, with His peace and guidance and calm. I truly, truly understand.

  • Angie Hammonds

    Guilt makes us feel more powerful than we are. It makes us take on more responsibility than we are capable of shouldering. It is a vicious circle. Our feelings of guilt feed our false sense of responsibility which in turn feeds our guilt. I cannot abide being around adults who never take the rap for any damage that they do. Simultaneously, it is difficult for a person who has been raised to be a responsible adult to gage where their responsibility begins and ends. I’ve always said, “My folks raised me to be a responsible person. If the world gets a hangnail I’m probably responsible.” Guilt and regrets are nonproductive except as a caution sign for future responses.
    I guarantee your mom and dad had already forgiven you before you hung up the phone…just as you have already forgiven Natalie for being angry over her Musically app.

    • SUSANNAH

      My mother’s name was Susan. It showed up just as yours when she commented on my posts. I have to say my heart skipped a beat when I saw this comment with her name. Thank you.

      • Michele

        That is a sign from your Mom. She wants you to be at peace like she is. I’m sorry you live with such regret. Although My regret is not the same as yours I relate to that gnawing, aching regret feeling that you can’t get away from even when you know better.

  • Marta Wajert

    I hear your pain and wish I had the words to give you peace. Of course, we all have regrets about what we could have/ should have said, not said; done, not done; been more of, been less of. Since it is Easter; I think of Peter in the courtyard denying Christ and crying bitterly. I hope this season eases your heartache.

  • Seth

    Hello. First off I just want to say that I loved your Facebook video about Kroger.

    I too have some regrets. My regrets is stuck on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 3:20pm when I received a phone call while at work. My best friend Ray (widower; 70 yrs old, family friend) passed away unexpectedly. I have known him for the past 15 years and when I had a falling out with my parents, he allowed me to move in with him rent free as long as I went to college. That was 15 years ago. When I graduated college and moved into my own place, I would call and check on him daily and visit weekly. I had a better relationship with him than my own parents and he never once gave up on me. Though the years as we both got older, I realized that we both need each other. To help support each other and rely on. Ray was my family. We would spend every holiday/birthday together and I would visit him to help with household chores such as – cleaning the gutters, changing the smoke detector batteries or wheeling his grill from the garage to the backyard deck. I remember visiting Ray on Friday, February 19. Going to lunch and run some errands. He told me he was on some new medication so I started asking him some question to which he didn’t know the answer too. So after some push and pull he gave in and called his doctor back and started asking more question. They put him on Lasix (water pill) due to some fluid build up on his heart. I remember standing in his garage before I left and joking telling him to read the warning label because with his luck he’d get them all including death. I never should have said that. Why would I have said that? I checked on him throughout the weekend and he kept telling me about his blood pressure and how he felt dizzy like he was “high but not smoking anything.” I begged him to go to the ER because his blood pressure and pulse were really high for someone sitting down watching tv.
    The last time I spoke with Ray was that Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6am, on my way into work. He told me that he wasn’t feeling him self, he was dizzy and had chest tightness. I told him he needed to go the hospital as soon as possible. He responds by saying he will get in the shower first and then make his way there. That pleased me knowing that he was willing to go to the ER. I was so busy (at a hospital myself) that I didn’t have/make the time to call and check on him. That’s when I got the call at 3:20pm that he passed away. My heart broke, my world crashed down, my life would forever changed. I left work and drove as fast as I could to his house and it seemed like it took me forever to get there. I got to his house spoke with the officer and waited for the coroner. They would allow me inside so I just sat there in my car, crying uncontrollably. I wanted to be there so he wasn’t alone but yet there I was so alone. I have thought of him every single day since then. If only I called off and took him to the hospital myself, he would still be here. Why didn’t I just call off? Why didn’t I call to check on him? All these regrets I have. All these people in my life turned their back on me but he was the only one who didn’t. I feel lonely, isolated, like I don’t have a purpose any more and very depressed. Ray was my purpose. I have isolated myself from everyone around me. I go to work but I don’t want to be there because of the memory of that phone call. I don’t smile anymore unless its forced by others. When he stopped living, so did I. I feel like I don’t have a purpose anymore and I can not move pass this guilt. I wish it was me that died that day. I think about this everyday. It should have been me. So now almost 2 month have gone by and here I am, unable to move on. I listen to his voice mails daily because I’m so worried that I’m going to forget how he sounds or says my name. I read our text messages. I go to his house and sit in my car and cry. I’m stalking someone who is no longer here. It’s crazy and I know it, I just can’t move on. It’s so hard and I ask myself…why am I still here. What’s the easiest way out for me? I just want someone to know exactly how I feel when everyone has given up on you and walked out of your life. When you have absolutely no-one in your life. You know how it feels? It feels lonely. I hate my nursing job now and I hate pretty much everything right now, including myself. I see his name on my text screen slowly going lower and lower. It’s hard. I know all the signs of depression; which I have. I know I have to talk to someone beside my doctor. Which will come next week. Greif is such a lonely feeling to have and now I must do something to take my mind off this for at least a little while.
    If you happen to get this far with my little story…thanks for reading. This is the first time I was able to talk about this. I’m not sure if anyone will read this but it has helped knowing that I can share this reguardless. So…it’s out there. This is how I feel…all alone.

    • Susannah Post author

      Hi Seth. I read every word and am incredibly sorry for your loss. I know these feelings and I have no real advice or sage words of wisdom to give you except that you still have purpose here or you would have been the one to die that day. Pray you find comfort and peace and are able to enjoy your time left here on earth. Blessings to you, you’re not alone abs hang in there. Thanks for sharing with me.

      • Dana Thompson

        Hi Seth. I know your story was intended on Susannah but I also read every word. I am so sorry for your loss and do understand regret something terribly. I wish I had words to heal your heart but just from reading your story I know you were very blessed to have Ray in your life and he was blessed to have you. I know you miss your friend but just imagine how happy you made him and how much you meant to him. No one will ever know if you could have done anything and I hope you are able to make peace with that. I’m not sure if you are a religious person or what your beliefs are but I believe the Lord knows exactly when he will call us all home the minute we take our first breath. I will be praying for you Seth! Love and many prayers from Georgia! ❤️

  • Dana Thompson

    Dearest Susannah, I found you through your Kroger rant recently. I totally identified with your humor and the madness of rearranging a dang grocery store can bring that I liked your page on Facebook. This Georgia girl gets you!I began scrolling down your page and reading your funnies and I’m like I really like this chick! I get her! We could be great friends in real life! Lol! I very quickly saw a reference to the recent loss of your mother and immediately felt a bond. I went to your webpage this evening as I was lying around my chores done for the day and began reading your blogs about the loss of your mother. My heart feels your heart. I have cried for you and for myself tonight. Your words are so raw and real and I feel the pain leaping from the page. I lost my own mother. I almost said recently but in fact it is going on 6 years now but sometimes it feels like yesterday. The relationship your describe with your mother was very much like my own. She was my very best friend. My confidant. My parter in crime. My biggest cheerleader. My everything. She died when I was 36 years old. She died way too soon. Our stories are a little different as all stories are. My mother had not been feeling well for a few months, I will spare you all of the details but like you she raised me alone and sometimes she felt left out of my life. Like I mentioned she had not been feeling well and I had been spending almost every night at her house. Cooking, cleaning etc. then running home late at night to do my own things and work everyday. I was exhausted and frustrated. My husband was getting tired of my absence and the things neglected at home. I was having a bad time. The night before my mother had an MRI scheduled I actually accused my mother of not being as sick as she was letting on so that I would spend all of my time with her. I cried and told her I missed my mama… The way she used to be! Why was she being like this! She cried and told me she loved me and while she enjoyed me being home so much she wished she was letting on. She told me she hurt and she was so very tired. She also told me she was so sorry she was such a burden that she never wanted to be. I was so ashamed. The very next day she had that MRI and it was discovered she had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to her pancreas, pelvic bones and the top of her spine. I was so ashamed. I was so heartbroken. She held me while I cried and begged her forgiveness in the following days. She assured me I was forgiven the moment I said the words. She knew I was tired and frustrated and that I did not mean them. She knew how much I loved her and if I never know another thing in my life I know how much she loved me. She died 15 days later. She died lying in a hospital bed with me at her side. It was very peaceful. She let out one long breath and she was gone. I had prayed so hard that it be peaceful. I did not want her to suffer and it was. The days and months that followed her death were very much like yours. I hurt so bad. I wanted my Mama. Nothing would ever be the same again. My mom was very protective and one example that comes to my mind is if she ever knew I was driving in bad weather she would call me and say please just pull over or stop at a store. Just get off of the road. Yeah she was like that. A few days after she died I got caught in a torrential rain storm and I lost it. I pulled over on the side of the road and had a meltdown. The puffy eyed, nose a running hard crys. Who woul ever care if I was driving in the rain again? My mama was dead!!!! Just a silly example but you get it. No one would ever make me feel so loved or special as she did. Never will. It will get easier. I promise it will. There will still be bad days but they will become farther and farther in between. You will remember her and smile and feel her love. i know you feel regret for the last conversation you had with your mama. My heart hurt for you as I read you tell your story. But I bet she forgave you as you said the words just as my mama did. She understood. God Bless you Susannah! I pray God heals your heart! Much love and many prayers from Georgia!

    • Susannah Post author

      Hi Dana. Your beautiful message had me in tears. I want to deeply and sincerely thank you for taking the time to share it all with me and provide some comfort that I am not alone. God Bless you and the day we are reunited with them. Thanks so very much. I’ll refer back to your comment often.

  • Shasta

    I saw you on FB and didnt thing much about your videos. Im from TN also so it is just the samethings Id say. However I saw you mention your blog and something about grief so I thought I would check it out. ( IF you read this I know youre a writer so please dont judge my grammer. Ive lost my commas in my older age)
    I lost my father in 1995, I was 15. I was mad because he died. I lost my Mama 2 years ago and that was my best friend, biggest cheerleader, my everything, I know everyone says it but in my case we were kinda teamates. We worked together through life. My mother was just 57 and Im 35. It was sudden also and I felt like a 10 year old child as I made the decision to take her off life support. My brother, 10 yrs younger than I, dont have the mental capasity to help me. I also struggle with the things you said. I just dont know how to get past it or if I ever will. Ill pray for you but please do so for me to sister. I need it also.

  • Sarah Drane

    I’m so sorry you have to live with that! Refuse to let your mind go there not even for a second. I know how hard it is . Try not to think about it. That’s what I do.
    Prayers for comfort.
    Sarah

  • Cinda

    I’m not even sure how I found this blog today. It was one of those things where I started clicking and clicking after watching your TJ Maxx video, next thing I know, here I am reading a blog about regrets.
    There’s so much I regret, and it’s something I think about every day. Every, Day. My dad died February 1st of this year. I never had a real close relationship with him growing up. My parents divorced when I was 5 and he moved away shortly after that. So, my relationship with him was two weeks in the summer and alternating holidays every year. We got a little closer when I was older and could make the drive to see him myself, but it was never a relationship that I would describe as close. When dad got into his early 60’s he moved back home. He was a carpenter and a ceiling man, and there was plenty of work to be had here, so he moved back and started working. About 2 years after that move, he was diagnosed with COPD (kind of like emphysema, but worse) and could not work anymore. He was too young for social security and had not planned for his retirement at all. I think he thought he would just work until he died. So, here’s my dad, jobless, broke, with no where to live. We moved him in to a rental property that my husband and I own, and I became his primary care giver. I wasn’t anywhere near his favorite child (my brother was, but he was living 1500 miles away). My sister helped a lot, but the bulk of his care fell on me. I had a lot of resentment those last few years of his life. I resented the fact that I was carrying him financially when he never bothered to pay child support when I was young. I resented having to take care if his physical needs when he had never done that for me. I was very far away from the daughter that I knew God wanted me to be to my father and that was the biggest struggle of all.
    The week he died, he was preparing to have a surgery that was going to have a very difficult recovery, and he was obsessing over it so much that he made himself sick. I was so frustrated with him because my sister and I had rearranged our whole lives so that we could care for him the week after his surgery and he was doing everything he could to not have that surgery. That last morning, we had a group text going between him, my sister and I. He was saying that he was so sick that he needed to be admitted into the hospital. Mind you, we had been to the ER just 2 days prior and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him so they sent him home. I was so angry with him on that Monday morning because I had to leave work to meet the ambulance and spent most of my morning in the ER with him, fuming the whole time. I had recently made a vow to myself that I was going to set some boundaries with him. I was absent from work because of his doctor’s appointments. I was losing precious alone time with my husband because of his needs. So I felt it necessary to set boundaries. My sister was going to be off of work in a couple of hours and could come up to the hospital to be with him, so I left him there alone in the ER. My sister decided that she needed to go by his house and pick up a few things he was going to need and she had to stop by the pharmacy for a couple of things, so she didn’t get there anywhere near the two hours I thought it was going to be. My father spent his last day on earth alone in the emergency room because I thought setting boundaries was more important than staying there with him.
    What I didn’t know was that because he had gone off of all blood thinners the week before in preparation for surgery and had spent most of the past 7 days sitting in his chair, he had formed a blood clot in his legs that would travel to his heart and cause a pulmonary embolism that would take his life. I was so ugly to him that last morning. So ugly. I didn’t tell him that I loved him before I left him alone in the emergency room. So ugly. I had spent the last years of his life resenting the fact that I had to take care of him that I missed out on the joy of being with my father the years before he died. So ugly. I have so many regrets that they are too many to name. So ugly.
    I, too, know that my dad has already forgiven me for my ugliness on his last day, but that doesn’t stop the regret I feel about it.

  • Lynn waddle

    As I lay here wiping tears from my face, I know exactly what you feel. The regret hasn’t left my thoughts and it’s almost been 2 years since I lost my mom. God has a plan for us all and I know it was her time to go home, but the pain of me telling her I was too tired to come in will never leave me. I still wonder if she would still be here if I was there to calm her. She had COPD and her anxiety made it flare more.
    I will say your blog has helped me some. My mom and I were so much alike!!! Stubborn. (We call it a Grissom thing) I didn’t know how much I depended on her until I no longer had her by my side. She lived her whole life for her daughters and grandchildren The regret will never go away, but I will say the only thing that gets me through is 2 weeks be for she passed she told me she loved me, that’s one thing we never said to each other. We just knew it.

  • Jordan Pitts

    I know this post is older, but I just stumbled across it and thought I would share with you my experience with regret. I lost my Momma when she was just 52 years old. I was 24- and for 18 months before her death we hadn’t spoken. You see, my Momma was an addict the way your Daddy was, but over time she had begun to lash out at me. For my own emotional health I distanced myself from her, I didn’t go to her house for Christmas, I didn’t answer her call in my birthday.. I totally cut her out of my life. A week before she passed away I had come to peace with her struggle- growing up has a way of happening like that. Rather than call her and start a fight I sent her an email and I told her first that I loved her and secondly that I forgave her. She called me crying the next day and we talked and it was just like our relationship had always been she was my best friend. We had made plans to have dinner and for me to spend the next weekend. That Thursday night she was found unresponsive by her boyfriend. Her blood sugar was 8. Over the next day’s it was obvious that she was brain dead and my baby brother and I had to make the decision to honor her wishes and let her go. It’s been 6 years that she has been gone, and to this day I regret the time that I wasted. I regret the hard things I said to her a year and a half before she died. I can’t take those things back. I won’t have my mom there when I have my first baby, she won’t be there to watch my baby brother graduate from law school (and let me tell you she would LOVE it), it hurts on Mother’s Day, it hurts at Christmas, well it just hurts a hell of a lot. As time has passed though the good memories are more frequent than the bad, I have more moments that I bust out laughing instead of crying because I swear to you I hear her voice in my head in certain situations. I’m not going to tell you it gets easier, but I will tell you that your grief changes. It’s always there but it’s not as sharp or as raw, there is less anger and a whole lot fewer tears. Over time your memories become less about regret and more about the things that you will ALWAYS cherish about your Mom. Grief doesn’t get easier, but it does become kinder. You are in my prayers. ❤️

  • Holly

    I lost my mother two years ago October 20 the April before she died my grandmother died and a year before that my grandfather! My mother and I hadn’t had a good relationship in forever she had tried to commit suicide and was always putting me down and one day she just dropped dead had a pulmonary embolism was gone before I could forgive her or apologize for the numerous arguments we had and tell her how much I loved her! I regret that everyday and I always fear that she died thinking I didn’t love her! I have now become a helicopter mom constantly worrying one of my kids are deathly sick wondering whose gonna be the next person in my life to check out on me! Susannah reading your blog has helped me knowing I’m not alone. Thank you for being such great writer!

  • Penny

    This was posted in March and I just now read it. I feel like such a slacker.
    My mom died January 14, 2011. Suddenly. She woke up that morning, was having a hard time breathing, her fiancee called 911. She was conscious and talking. As they were putting her in the ambulance, she suffered a massive heart attack. They got her heart beating again, but her brain had not survived. Not the part that made her mom. Not the part that allowed her to share her wisdom, memories and recipes. Not the part that made her mom. Just that part that told her body to breathe and her heart to beat.
    The night before she did as she always did. She sat on her sofa, watching the news while making a baby blanket for the newest yet-to-be born great-grandchild (she made a new blanket for every new baby in the family), having her snack of crackers and cheese. She has skyped with my daughter, talking about moms new hair extensions, which she loved.
    Three months before, in October of 2010, we had our family reunion, and boy was it a doozy. Everyone was there..all of moms five kids included. Her Party of Five. She met a granddaughter for the first time. We celebrated moms birthday during the reunion. Mom said it was “the best day ever.” And it was. Since that day, my mom died, my cousin died from cancer and her mom (my aunt) died of breast cancer. We haven’t had a family reunion since. Probably never will, as we’ve all drifted apart since mom died, proving she was the glue.
    When I was 10, I got mad at my mom for something. Heck, I don’t even remember what it was. I wrote in my diary in my 10-year-old scrawls “I hate my mom.” Immediately I was shocked at what my own hand had written and what my own mind had thought. I scribbled it out right away, afraid God had all ready seen it. I still feel guilty. Jesus, I was 10 and I still feel guilty.
    I stood by mom’s hospital bed and her breathing tube was removed and she began her journey. I was ready to let go, as she was no longer here, only her body was. And yet, her body hung on….and on….and on. She left instructions for us, stating she did not want to live unless her quality of life was equal to what she’d had before. And so, I worried. Would she continue on and the quality be zero. Was she screaming inside “I want to go, not live like this!” It was then I knew she was hanging on because her girls were in the room….she could hear us. And she knew we were not strong enough to watch her go. So we told her we were stepping out for a few minutes, and we did. And then, she left.
    Susannah, life really is like the “The Dance.” Embrace every day like it’s our last but not live in fear that it is. We may not know when we will see someone for the last time, but we can’t live in fear that each time will be the last. Should we know the future and all it holds, there’d be no surprises of all wondrous things to come, and there’d be only fear of a “countdown” to passing through deaths door.
    Just as you know your momma loved you, she knew you loved her. She knew that it’s only with your loved ones can you lose control and get angry (and show it) and yell (really loud, like…a banshee). My children have said things to me that would be like two needles in Gods eyes…I hate you, you’re an embarrassment, stay away from me…in fact, I have a grown daughter that has said all those things to me in the last 12 months and she won’t even speak to me now. She lives about 6 blocks from me and for years lived out of state. I dreamed of the days when she and my grandson would live closer…and now, they do. She’s having another baby too…and she doesn’t speak to me. I am not a part of her life and I probably won’t ever get to be a part of my new grandbaby’s life. She just got the notion one day that it was true when someone told her I’d been speaking “horribly” about her to others. I’m 54 years old….my life is not an episode of Gossip Girls or Mean Girls. I’m too damn old to engage in such petty behavior. But believe it she does. I can’t control her choices, but I am deeply sad at the regret she’ll feel one day. One day when it’s too late to make it right. My heart breaks for her, knowing the sadness and regret she will experience. I hope she doesn’t feel that way, and I hope she knows that a momma’s forgiveness is instant, no matter what her children do and say. A momma’s forgiveness is instant.
    You remember that, Susannah. A momma’s forgiveness is instant.
    With love.

  • gabriel

    My mother just passed this Saturday April 8th. I had been on okay terms with her until some dispute betweeb me & my sister turned into something that could have been avoided. My dad had just given me 7 day notice to move out of the house. I live in a studio apartment under the parents house. After I was told that I texted my mother I hated her. She is not my mom & that I hate Christians. Told her never to talk to me again. Then she was talking to my girlfriend on facebook messenger. My girlfriend broke up with me for a very short couple of hours until I reached her. But I told my mom to not talk to her. My mom said she knew I didn’t really mean it. I told her yes I really meant it. But now I can never take those words back. I truly regret it now. My mom is gone & nothing can undo what was done. Going through the loss of someone you have loved forever even if it wasn’t the easiest relationship is hard. Especially if your last words are my girlfriend just broke up with me & I hate you. She died of cancer at age 60. I’m 29 year old male with crohns disease & several injuries from auto accident. My mom helped me a ton when she was alive over the last 5 years & even more the rest of my life. But I just can’t stand the fact that things could have gone better in the end.

  • Melinda

    My mom died on February 25th, 2017. It was her 60th birthday. We had a fight on February 23rd, 2017. She had a one vehicle car accident. The accident was on a straight road on a beautiful Saturday. Why?! Life is such a struggle without my mom. Someone shared one of you videos with me after her passing. Thanks for all your writings. I can’t say it makes it better, but it does let me know I’m not the only one with these horrible feelings.

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