This is my serious face.

Today was a rough day for me. It’s been building up for a while, but today nearly did me in.

One of my friends lost her awesome grandmother this week. We’ve been friends for over 20 years, and I have spent plenty of time at Grammie’s house. I loved Grammie, so of course it upset me when my friend told me she had passed away. Thankfully, she still had the presence of mind up until right before she died to tell everyone in her family, privately, what she wanted to tell them. At the funeral today, they said she spoke to at least 40 people one on one the day she died. She knew that that was the day it was going to happen, and she was okay with it, and she handled it like only Grammie could.

Anyway, the funeral was this morning. I hate funerals. Today was the first time I’ve ever gone to one alone – without my dad, without my husband, no one. Alone. Plus, I knew I had to go to work afterwards, and I generally lose my shit at funerals even if I didn’t know the person very well. I knew Grammie and loved her, so I knew this was going to be tough. I’ve never been to a funeral quite like this one, and I’m so glad I went, and I felt so – almost happy – when it was over. Man, that’s the way to go – still with it right up until the end, and making sure everyone knows how much you love them. You can’t ask for more than that.

After the funeral was over, the family stood in a receiving line, just like at a wedding. I finally got up to my friend’s mom, and I guess she didn’t know I was there. She broke down when she saw me (I’m sure it didn’t take much) and just hugged me for what seemed like forever. She said, “I don’t know how you do it without your mom – mine’s only been gone for a few days and I have no idea what to do”. What do you say to that? Well, I said, “You just do it”. Because you do.

I lost my mom 19 years ago, this coming May 12. She died when I was 12, my sister was 10, and my brother was 7. She fought cancer for years. It was hard for the whole family. Somehow, we got through it alive and we grew up, and we made do as a family without a mother. My poor dad had to do things and talk about things no dad should ever be forced to talk about. Dude had no idea what daughters required once they became “young women”. He did fine, though! Now when me and my sister start talking about cramps, periods, etc. he absolutely does NOT want to hear about it. TMI, he says, TMI.

When my sister got engaged, I started missing my mom again. A lot. Not that I don’t miss her all the time, but there are just certain times when you NEED your mom. Planning a wedding is one of them. I got engaged a month before my sister’s wedding, so I was in full on missing mom mode for about 3 years nonstop. Dads have no idea how much a wedding dress costs, or why it is so important to have that perfect dress, perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect everything. To dads, it’s just a day. It was a battle with dad. Some of the things he said and did when I was engaged nearly tore us apart (me and my dad), and I spent a lot of time being really mad at him. Now I realize that all that perfect stuff really didn’t matter, I *did* still get married, and my wedding was just fine. At the time, though, it just sucked.

It kills me that my mom never got to meet Kevin (my husband) or Chris (my sister’s husband).
Absolutely kills me.

Mom fever hit again when my sister got pregnant. I tried not to mention it to my sister because I knew it would upset her to think about mom not being there for the birth – but I feel quite sure that my sister was protecting me in the same way. I know it’s hard for my sister when she has questions, or just needs to talk – I’ve never had a baby (or been pregnant, for that matter) so there are some things a big sister just can’t do. My aunt does a pretty good job, but she’s not “mom”.

My mom would be having a blast with Logan. It makes me sad that he will never get to meet his grandmother. I wonder what he would be calling her.

Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of off – missing my mom, thinking about her a lot, fun stuff like that. Christie’s mom’s comment just did me in. I don’t know HOW to deal with being without a mom, I just do it. In a way, I’m lucky that it happened when I was young. My mom was still my MOM. As in, the lady who grounded me and caught me when I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing. We weren’t friends. Who is friends with their mom at age 12?

I can’t imagine losing a parent now. I had 12 years with my mom. Christie’s mom had 50 something years with hers. They were thisclose. OF course I love my mother, but it is a different kind of love.

I would give anything – anything – to have my mom back. There are so many things I want to tell her, show her, do with her. Everyone tells me I’m just like her. I don’t know if I really am or not. I didn’t know the “person” side of her – she was mom, not a human! I’m dreading the time when my friends start losing their parents – I know they’re going to come to me for advice, and I honestly don’t have it. You just make it through the day. It is probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt (yes, even worse than a migraine, or possibly a gall bladder attack) – not being able to call my mom and tell her something. I’m so jealous of my friends and their relationships with their moms.

Anyway, the point of this post – tell the people you love that you love them. Daily. Hourly. As often as you can. Appreciate your mom. Love her. A lot. Be thankful that you have her.

That’s all. I just needed to write it all out.


3 Comments on “This is my serious face.”

  1. KelsNotChels says:

    Thank you for sharing this… I needed those last few sentences.

  2. Virginia says:

    thanks for sharing Heather.
    i know you are doing your mom proud

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