To put it bluntly, this is has been the most horrible bad month of my life. That would be my real life, not my fake made up pen-name, alternate personality, lost in fantasy land, author life but the life I wake up to everyday, the non-glam photo face I must look at in the mirror. To those of you who don’t really know me or don’t really care, you can probably stop reading at this point but to those who I’ve traded emails, google plusses, facebook pokings or tweeted with over the last year, I’ll tell you what happened.
On November 30, while my cell phone was off because I forgot my charger cord (new iphone 5 – strange plug, no extra cords in the house), my mother had a heart attack and died. Oh, they kept her alive for five more days by hooking her up to a bunch of machines but she wasn’t there. She had taken flight from her living room chair in front of a college football game after making blueberry pancakes for dinner. I found out about 20 minutes later through my brother who called his son who called my son who called my daughter (whose phone was fully charged) who ran into the room and told me what happened. I got there quickly enough. I spent five days in the CCU sitting next to Mom. I talked to her, put lotion on her feet and hands, combed her hair and waited for her to wake up. And, when I finally said goodbye and walked away from her for the last time, I felt at peace. No regrets. At this point in the spinning of the Earth, we were on the best of terms. We had been shopping at Costco, having lunch, sharing spaghetti and salad at our usual Thursday lunch spot the day before. We had a schedule full of doctors appointments, lunch dates and shopping trips planned through the rest of the month. We were the best of friends in the way that only mothers and daughters can be when they are each old enough to see each other as persons instead of mothers and children.
I didn’t even have to feel guilty about missing her call. She let me off the hook easy. There were no missed calls on my phone, no calls placed on hers. She didn’t email me to say that she was having palpitations and ask what she should do. I might have said it was something she ate. I might have told her to go lie down, could be a touch of the flu. I don’t have to feel guilty for not calling 911 because I didn’t know.
So now, as I stumble back to my feet, steady myself and forge ahead into this year, I wipe my eyes and search for rainbows in this perpetually gray Northwest sky. I know they’re out there. I have mini-rainbows all around me in my daughter, my sons, my husband, my brothers, our friends. I know the sun will shine again. I know I’ll wake up one morning and realize that I’m happy again. In the meantime, RIP Mom and Dad. Now, I miss you both.