Thursday, November 10, 2005

Well, I'm back, and today I want to talk about Moms. They can be the most caring and loving people, and they can be the meanest, cruelest, coldest heart stabbers in the world. Only a mother has that kind of emotional sway over a child, be it infantile or adult. If you've been blessed, like me, she's the best thing in your life, and the best friend you'll ever have. No one but her will trudge out in the driving rain to get chicken to make soup for you when you're sick. No one but her will be there when you have those sudden bills pop up when the cash flow has run dry to bail you out. No one but her will know the sting of your bitchiest, nasty worst ever moments and still love you unconditionally.

There is no one else on this earth quite like you mom. No one. Not even dads, who are just as well loved and who love just as well, but who have a different style and way about doing it. It's been my observation through the years that women are born nurturers, while men have real problems dealing with anything associated with the emotions. Well, most men, anyway. Granted, there are exceptions, but they are as rare as albino bears.

Life is short, and fragile. No one knows when their number will be called at the gates of heaven or the gates of hell. My advice to everyone who reads this: make it your business to cherish every damn single minute you share with your mom. Savor each moment and dedicate your memories to permanent storage, easily called upon. Spend time together, laugh, love. If I can influence just one person who reads this, it will be a GOOD thing.

Wednesday afternoon I came home from work to find my mom on the floor, dead from a massive heart attack. We had no warning - everyone is still in deep shock. None of us this saw this quagmire coming along to suck us down into it, and I know in my heart my mom didn't see it either. I'll bet my last dollar she was more shocked than us, even. Here was a woman who would turn 79 in three weeks who could best me every single time in the energy department. She was amazing that way. She was boundless. She was a true giver, always giving what little she had to those who had less, and I wish I could learn to be even half of the loving, caring, thougtful, helpful, patient person she was.

She was still warm when I felt for a pulse, all the while pleading with God that this was not really happening . She was still as warm as me. She must've passed less then 15 minutes before I got home. I'm still coming to grips with what's happened. It's all so surreal - I keep thinking this is just a nightmare that I will wake up from. But each hour that passes only becomes more painfully indelible as I realize I am already awake and that, yes, this is really happening, this is really real. I find my mind not focusing on anything and both mentally and physically rambling around, and then suddenly finding amazing clarity or dissolving into mindless tears. Right now, I feel completely focused on writing this but I could start to wander at any time.

I miss her already, more than you could ever know. I had the good fortune in life to have a wonderful, funny, amazing mom, a mom who was also my very best friend, and now she's been shut off with a quick flick of the switch. I never had a chance to say good bye, nor did she. I lost my father when I was just 7, so she became my anchor, and now I feel as though I am adrift in a wave-tossed ocean without anyone at the rudder. I feel utterly alone, even though I have family and close friends lavishing me with their love and tears and understanding and support.

Her death has changed me forever in a most profound way, and life will never be the same for me. I know it's going to get worse before it starts to get better, but that eventually it will get better - the passing of time will eventually dull the razor's edge and I will learn how to absorb and heal the nicks. I just need to take it a day at a time, an hour at a time, a moment at a time, one breath at a time. So, for this reason, you may not see many new thoughts or any of my poetry and photos here for quite some time. Or, you may see it come in starts and fits. I just don't know where life will be leading me as I try to come to terms with this loss, a loss I have feared and dreaded equally for most of my adult life.

So, for those of you who still have the blessed company of your moms, I council you to not take her for granted. Don't put off spending time with her - whether in the physical sense or in the audio (think phone) or written (think letter or card) sense. Cherish every single moment, and store every single memory away like a squirrel burying nuts for the winter, because once that winter comes, the following spring may not.

I wrote this a while ago for Mother's day, and I will publish it here again, in memory of and forever dedicated to my mom.

Safe Haven

You are the calm eye
in my hurricane life;
a safe haven protecting me
from fierce-stitched storms.

You are the sugar in my tea
(and sometimes the lemon, too),
the down in my comforter,
the dot of my I,
the island in my sea.

I could try all day
to put it into words,
but words cannot describe
your indelible imprint
on my life.

You are my rudder and anchor,
steering and grounding me:
creator, nurturer, protector,

© 2001 by Cookala


Blogger Heather O'Neill said...

I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers, Cookie.

Take care,

10:27 PM  
Blogger Scavella said...

If you don't have this, get this now. You don't have to read it till you need it, but get it.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Scavella said...

Sorry - the link didn't work. It's C. S. Lewis' A Grief Observed.

7:29 AM  
Blogger vmh said...

I just saw the post. I am very sorry for your loss.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

I agree Lewis' A Grief Observed is an awesome book. BUT reading this close to your own grief may be too soon. Now's a time for your own grief which at times seems too much to bear. At first it will involve alot of tears but let your tears bleed into words, pictures, poetry...whatever avenues of expression you have. At times God will seem as close as the clothes you're wearing and other times you'll wonder if he's on the same planet... He's always close and he's big enough to take on your most passionate sorrow, anger and grief. I am sorry for your loss.
Thank you for your words...keep writing.

6:11 PM  

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