It's been awhile since I've been on here.
I was putting Ava to bed tonight, just a few minutes ago, actually. We were laying there in the dark, and she asked to play with my hair. And by "play with my hair", I mean she uses my hair as a slide and all of her stuffed animals take turns going down the slide. It felt nice to have some quiet moments at the end of a busy day; I always love to hear Ava's quiet chatter as she plays with her animal friends. Her speech is emerging more and more every day and I love hearing what is on her mind. We have made a routine of talking about our day and what we are looking forward to tomorrow.
I was looking up at the hair bows hanging on Ava's wall when a giant wave of grief washed over me.
just out of nowhere.
The wave hit me and I almost literally felt like I had been slammed to the ocean floor.
I felt the wave first, and then the thought came to my head second:
my mom is not here to see any of this life that I have now.
When she left us, I was newly engaged and still living at home. I wasn't all wrapped up in this crazy military life yet. No kids. I was still just a kid myself. I mean I was 22, but that is still a very young adult with much life ahead to experience and feel. I was such a different person back then.
My mom faded during her 2 year battle with cancer. It was gradual. There were high highs and low lows, and toward the end, the fading came faster. We were holding on with all our strength. Every once in awhile my mind makes me walk through her final days on earth. I'm typing this with my eyes shut, tears pouring down my face; I can't put the memories into words but i feel them. Oh, how i feel them.
A lot of her final days are still a blur. Not many things stick out in my mind. I do remember a nurse gently telling us that the last thing to go would be her hearing, so even though her eyes are closed and she's not responding, that she can still hear us.
I think that was when it all really sank in for me. Like, oh...she means she's not going to come out of this. Like, this is the end.
And we just sat. And waited. Prayed for a miracle but we knew it was up to God.
The final days are torturous. And sometimes you don't know they are the final days. You don't know when the final hour will be.
I wish my mom was there for my wedding.
I never dreamed I wouldn't get to place her grand babies in her arms.
That I wouldn't get to call her for mothering advice.
Or talk about what I was like as a small child.
I often sit and wonder what my mom would have to say about this life I'm living now. If she'd want to help me decorate all of these houses we live in or tell me how to plant a garden.
In some ways I feel proud of how I've been able to thrive without her by my side, and in other ways, I wonder how much more fulfilled I'd feel if she were here.
I always wonder: what would we talk about??
The mind of a 22 year old is very different from a 32 year old.
It's hard for me to imagine.
I don't get these waves of grief very often. But this time, I thought I would race to the laptop and write them down while I was still feeling them. It's like therapy, I guess.
And I'm sharing because sadly I know more and more people who have lost a parent in the young adult stage of life. And I know that sharing stories and feelings brings a sort of comfort and strength to those who have been there too.
Thank you for reading.