What do I do at this moment? Who do I ask for assistance? What would I say to the next person I see? Where should I go now? Do I really just drive home like any other day? Am I going to have an insane breakdown at any moment?
My brother Matt was in transit from NV via airplane, and I was dreading that I had to tell him that she passed before he landed. I think I picked him up from the airport, but I honestly cannot remember. I can’t recall how the few days following her passing lined up, except that at some point Matt & I went to the Peacock Lounge to consume a large amount of poutine and desert. One morning we went for a glorious run together in the rain around Wirth Park and Bryn Mawr. We looked at old photos and memorabilia while laughing our asses off sharing stories, looking at old artwork form our youth and reading letters mom had saved.
After a few days, Matt left and I was dazed. The only thing that I wanted to do, and did, was go for a super-fast and hard morning run that HAD to end by jumping in a lake. Any lake, any where. If there was a body of water, I needed to be in it. NO IDEA why, but it had to be that way or I would feel absolutely numb in every way. I guess I would run home after jumping in those lakes, I cannot recall that either. I do know that various friends drove me to jump in lakes, and one day my BFF brought me to get a mani/pedi right after a jump in Cedar Lake. I looked at my reflection in the mirror while gittin’ my nails did and had NO IDEA who was looking back at me. She looked like Nick Nolte’s mug shot. She had wet & wild hair sticking up all over tarnation, was clearly sleep deprived, and was wearing a yellow, elephant print tank top from the girl’s section at Target with no bra. Shorts on? No idea, but I bet her nails looked gorgeous.
Other than instantly recalling The Exact Moment mom passed on this anniversary, I feel the emptiness inside my heart without her physical presence. Losing a mom was and can be unbearable at times. Before her Alzheimer’s kicked in she was my go to for instant support, and provided Oooh’s & Ahhh’s that made me feel like the coolest daughter on earth. She seemed to always be excited about almost anything I told her, never showing shock, just always seemed to be genuinely engaged in the conversation or moment.
“Your new tattoo is so beautiful Moonbeam*!”
“You and ________ broke-up? They weren’t that great, really, and didn’t deserve you anyway.”
“I love dancing at The Gay 90’s, the drag queens are SO FUN!”
“The only word I could understand that band said was fuck, but the music was great!”
*one of my nicknames
There are days when all I want is for her to give me hug, or let me put my head on her shoulder so she can play with my hair to make me feel tranquil and safe. I still think of her when I have good news to share, hear the bands we loved, or learn about some Edina gossip. I will NEVER forget all the Smucker's Uncrustables, ice cream sandwiches and 7oz cans of coke she consumed & requested when she lived in assisted living. I should have purchased stock in those companies, since she seemed to only consume those items....all the time.
Without a doubt, I know she is helping me along my own crazy trail of life, even from The Other Side. That is what keeps me going when I feel doubt or miss her more than I ever thought a human was capable of. She was an amazing soul that cannot be fully realized in one blog entry....at least I cannot seem to write that one. Maybe that will come one day, but I feel like she will be an enormous chapter in a book I write because there is just too much goodness, laughter and lessons to be shared with the world in one blog post.
The day before she passed I wrote a journal entry that started with
Family conference yesterday and essentially mom is progressing quickly and will pass soon. It is all unbelievable and dream like. I cannot imagine a life without her in it.
With out her:
Finger on the pulse
Supportive of my many ways
Purity of her heart that was never for selfish reasons.
Mom's challenges near the end, stemmed from her fight with Alzheimer's and a small stroke. Her last years really made an impact with me as far as living in fear and being stuck in that fear. Seeing that take such a toll on another human really hit home and made me make many changes in my life, even right after her death.
Excerpt and from Journal entry Aug 11th, 7:15 p.m.
I get to live another day.
I can make a difference in the world TODAY. I have that gift every single day to make a difference in someone's life. A smile, or possibly something huge. Be love, share love. Use this life I have been gifted to make others' lives a positive one- even if only for 1 minute, day, or moment.
Mom is unable to do that any longer and I am lucky enough to feel the sunshine, see the breeze flow through the trees, feel the embrace of another human, the sand between my toes, hear the snow squeak underneath my boots, and smell fresh cut grass.
PK is gonna be my sidekick to finally DO.
She's with me every step of this next chapter.
NO judgement, wide eyed, pure interest, with a kind heart and smile.
I love you mom. We got this. We are connected in every way, shape and form. Always.