I’ve been debating on whether or not I should write this post.
Yesterday marked the eighteenth anniversary of my mom’s death. Eighteen years, I was nine when she died. It’s really hard for me to comprehend. I think it’s more so now, both because I’m older and because my dad is gone now too.
I was always told that it gets better over time. But I think that certain losses don’t. I thinking the loss of my mom is one of those losses for me. My dad was great, he raised me single handedly and there wasn’t anything we couldn’t talk about. However, as I got older, I longed to talk to my mom. There were questions that I had for her and there are just somethings that only moms have the answers for. I just wanted her to be there, I still want her to be here now.
I don’t talk about her much, because I was so young and for most of my memories she was sick. And I feel guilty about that. I feel guilty about fighting with her all the time the last two years of her life. I was an idiot child, I didn’t understand why she need my help all the time, she was the mom. She was supposed to do stuff for me, not the other way around. You see my mom had her legs amputated when I was seven. And I think looking back I resented that she couldn’t do “normal” mom things.
That makes me a horrible person, or more a horrible child. But I was confused and scared, and I pray that she realized this. My biggest fear is that she died thinking that I hated her.
I was definitely mad at her. I was maddest at her after she died. She didn’t take care of herself, she wouldn’t take her medicine and I hated that. And I questioned if it was my fault. Was I that bad of a daughter that she didn’t want to life to have to put up with me? Was my dad that bad of a husband? And you think as a child, if I was better behaved, if I’d cleaned my room when she told me to, if I’d gotten better grades, she’d have tried harder to take care of herself.
The truth of course is that my mother had two illnesses, she was a diabetic and she suffered from depression. The doctors will tell you that her body went septic due to kidney failure from not controlling her diabetes. I tell you the truth, she committed suicide. She was depressed and the doctors couldn’t see it through the other health problems. But at nine I didn’t know what depression was, and the doctors weren’t going to listen to me even if I had known. All I knew was that my momma was sad and in pain.
And I know that we loved her and that she loved us, but sometimes that’s just not enough.
She loved me enough to have me sent to California on a vacation trip while she was having her first amputation. And I know she hated it when I was shuttled between caregivers because she was in the hospital and nursing homes for physical therapy and Daddy was working nights. I know now that she thought she was a bad mom and that she probably believed that she failed as a mom.
As an adult I can say that we both felt guilty her before her death and I after her death. We both felt that we failed the other. We didn’t fail each other. More then anything in this world, I’d like to get the chance to tell her that. That we were both wrong. And that I love her.