When speaking or thinking of death and dying, sadness hits, love is missing from life, love from a mom I barely knew. To be able to see her one more time and tell her how much shes missed and loved would be a dream.
When at age six, mom got very sick from cancer and had surgery after surgery, without making a difference. Watching mom lay in her hospital bed, being unaware she was soon to die, and no-one knew the changes to come, and the impact it would have on our lives.
Day after day, mom would lie in that bed sick and yet somehow not one person seemed to care but a little girl of 6. I remember this! Mom tried to fight valiantly, but in the end, cancer beat her until there was no life left in her. In and out of the hospital, soon I became used to these hospital visits as if they were part of her life, at least in my world they were and the reason I never expected my mom to leave me when I was 8.
My dad was an alcoholic to which all he cared about was drinking. He never shared a tear for my mom, and this lesson taught me to be even kinder as I grew into an adult. This was one of my valuable lessons of many; an angry, alcoholic father taught me. He had no time for a sick wife, child, and anything but alcohol. I loved him though, and I wanted him to show more concern for my mom, but he could care less.
When at a younger age, memory serves as a reminder the many beatings my mom took, black eyes, actual dragging her across the floor and myself jumping on my fathers back to save my mom. I hate my childhood as if it was a disease; it was my father’s disease. Today, as I think back, I realize
The reason that mom stayed with that animal for me, and as much as I hate to say this, her death was the end of her misery in many ways.
At age 8, mom was sicker than she had been in a long time, as she now could not even sit up any longer and with no understanding of death, and no one was ready for this.
Every day as I rushed home to see mom, I hoped she would be the mom she was before she got sick, but that never came about.
One day as I rushed home to see mom, she was not in her bed as she usually was. “Where was she”? I remember asking myself. When dad came home, he said she had gone to the hospital because she had gotten sick again. I felt so sad and went into my room and cried. I could not believe my mom had left me! In my 8-year-old mind, I believed I had been such a bad kid that my mom left me! When I finally came to rely on mom was sick and could not come back to me, I imagined she was locked in a room and would come soon as she was better. This was my belief to help me cope with my mom being gone. Mom was a strong lady, and I just knew she would make herself healthy one day and return.
One day soon, after coming home from school, the feeling something terrible had happened was strong. I asked what was wrong and all I got was going to your room!. What could be wrong? I immediately thought it was my mom, and so I asked my grandmother if it was my mom. I was told that mom died and that was it, no hugs, no affection and never hearing it would be ok and that they were there for me. I felt so alone and lonely, afraid, scared, confused, and that I did something to hurt my mom. I had no one to explain to me that it was not my fault she had died. Did this mean mom was away and would return someday, left me, and did not want me anymore? I was not sure what death meant, but I knew it was not right.
I would beg God to please give my mom back to me, and I would do whatever he wanted me to, not be bad anymore and listen to mom and dad, but it made no difference because mom never came home again!
I felt so devastated, why couldn’t God believe me? Why is my mom not coming back to me? I was confused about being only 8 with no support system; I had no way of knowing this was permanent. Who loved me now?, how would anyone protect me against the angry, alcohol-induced father I knew. I had not long to realize, my grandmother was going to take me in and give me a kind of normal life. Grandmother was strict, loud, but she could be loving and kind. I truly believe even for the three short years, before she died with cancer and left me, she changed my life and molded me into the person I am today.
Today, even as the years have gone by, the missing, loving, sadness never subsides. The heartache of never feeling a mother’s love, the events in life she missed as well as the loss felt is sometimes so heart-wrenching, and the loss is so hurtful. We will meet once again and hope we never have to part again.
The pain endured from the loss of my mother and an alcoholic father was unbearable at times, but I grew through it and became a stronger adult because of this loss.