Mothers

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If you’re looking for Dual Mom’s usual wit and charm ....hold on a second, wit and charm? You come here looking for wit and charm? You read the shit stuff that I write, right?

Anywhoo...no wit and charm today. My mum died 13 years ago today. As is always the case when someone dies young, there were so many things I never got to say to her. I write this for me....because I need to put words to it. No offense taken if you choose not to read.


Dear Mum,

Thirteen years ago today I held your hand as you took your last breaths. You were 56, I was 23. You were too young to die and I was too young to lose my mother, but such is the way of this wonderful thing we call life. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, other times, I have trouble remembering the sound of your laugh, and it makes me incredibly sad. After thirteen years, I still miss you so much it sometimes stops me in my tracks and takes my breath away. Only sometimes, I know you wouldn’t want me to be sad and I’m not.

Your last days on this earth were horrific, and I know if you could take the memories of those days out of my mind, you would. You would take them and leave me only with the happy memories. I try not to dwell on your last days. It does no good. It’s very difficult sometimes, to forget that I had to tell the doctors to let you die, that it was what you would want. I still doubt my decision; no 23 year old should ever have to make that type of decision. It’s difficult to remember the tears rolling down your face, even though your body was shutting down and you hadn’t opened your eyes in seven days. It’s difficult to believe the doctors were right when they said the tears were from pain. I think they were tears of sorrow, I think you knew you were dying, and you didn’t want to go. I didn’t want you to go either.Oh how I raged against the doctors, I fought and screamed and pleaded with them to do something, anything. You would have been very proud of your obstinate daughter. In the end, there was nothing any one could do. I hope you knew that I was there, you weren't alone Mum. I held you as you died, I kissed your forehead, I laid my head on your chest and whispered that I loved you, that I would miss you, but that it was ok to go. I told you I would look after J, my brother, I told you not to worry, I told you over and over again that I loved you. I hope you heard me.

I’m sorry for so many things Mum. I’m sorry for being a shit face asshole teenager. I’m sorry I never had the time with you to truly learn to appreciate every sacrifice you made for me. I’m sorry I’ll never have the chance to tell you that you were oh so very right when you used to say to me "some day you'll understand". You were right. I understand that "because I said so" is indeed a valid argument, even though it used to drive me batshit crazy. I’m sorry you’ll never be here when I find myself saying things that you used to say, things that made me so angry I just wanted to spit at you, things that I swore I would never say to my own kids. You were the best Mom and I’m sorry.

I would give all the riches in the world to hear you say, "I should have eaten you while your bones were soft” just one more time. You believed in yelling to get your point across. You would scoff at the way people parent children today. You laughed from the very pit of your stomach when something tickled your funny bone. You believed all life’s woes could be cured with a home cooked meal, made with love. When we made you proud you would try so very hard not to cry, but the tears of joy would be brimming in your eyes, but never falling, because you believed you had to be strong for us. You told us always to be honest, at the very least with ourselves. You taught me that reading was the easiest way to travel the world, without leaving home. You taught me to be good, and if I couldn't be good, to damn well enjoy being bad because there would always be repercussions for my actions.

You had your faults, I know that. It would piss you off to no end to be put on a pedestal in your death. You had a temper that was ferocious to watch. You never laid a hand on your children, but we loathed being the cause of that temper rearing its head. You were stubborn as a mule and proud to a fault.

I look at my children sometimes, and I think of how very much you would love them. The fact that you have five grandchildren that will never know you breaks my heart. Their lives are less without you even though they don’t know it. Your first grandson remembers you even though he was not quite four when you died. He remembers laying in your bed when he had sleepovers with Nanny and watching Power Rangers with you. He remembers making blueberry muffins with you, when you would give him the bowel filled with batter and a spoon, letting him have at it. I would get so mad at you when I went to pick him up, to discover him covered in blueberry batter. He remembers that still after all these years. I tell him often that he was your boy. I tell him that you loved him beyond reason. Coadie was just over a year, he has no memories of you even though he spent your last Christmas with you in your hospital room. My daughter was not even a twinkle in my eye when you died. Oh how you would love her Mum. She is her mother’s daughter and so very much like you and I. You would dance with glee over the fact that she will probably drive me as crazy as I drove you. Just deserts...you would say.

I like to think that you would be proud of the woman I’ve become; the woman that you helped shape. My strength comes from you, of that I have no doubt. I have conversations with you in my head sometimes. At 23 I was only just starting to appreciate you for a person, outside of your role as my mother. I know that we would be great friends if you were still here. I smile when I think of subjecting anyone to our combined sarcasm. I sometimes long for your words of wisdom and your support.

I remember the week before you died, you couldn’t talk, but we knew you were still in there. You kept picking up that damn Chicken Soup for the Soul book, every time I sat near you you would reach for the book. I wanted to throw the damn book out the window because I couldn’t understand why you wanted it. Three weeks after you died I finally found the strength to sort through your things from the hospital and the book was among the items. I found the story you had marked Mum. I hope you know that I found your bookmark. I sat and read the story, proof of your last days of life surrounded me, and I read about the woman who bought the red dress, hanging it in her closet to save for a special occasion. I read the story about that woman dying before ever having worn the red dress she loved so much. I sobbed as I realized that the story was about your regrets, for things you hadn’t done. You were trying to tell me to live. I laughed through the tears because even in death you managed to get your point across. I promise you, with everything that I am Mum, I will always wear the red dress.

I love you Mum forever and always.

In loving memory...
Velma Noreen Birt
March 28, 1941 - January 19, 1997

24 comments:

Kellyansapansa said...
January 19, 2010 at 12:22 AM

*hugs* what a beautiful post and I'm so sorry about your Mum. It sounds to me like she would be incredibly proud of who you have become.

Homesick Cajun said...
January 19, 2010 at 12:32 AM

I'm sorry boo! I lost my mom young too! I was 29 (29 is still young isn't it?) when she passed away and I swear I don't understand those people who say it gets easier! I wish it would have gotten easier for me! Every year on the date of her death and her birthday, hell even on Mother's day I wake up with this dread in my heart because I know that I'm going to be spending that day thinking about my Mom not being here! I write her letters too, it helps me to express what I'm feeling!

I hope that today wasn't too terrible hard for you! Hugs!

Jennifer said...
January 19, 2010 at 12:38 AM

I will share my Mom with you all.... she is wonderful. I am glad I get to enjoy her and I appreciate her more and more as the years go by. I dread the day she goes. :-(( Hugs to you all who have lost your best friend.

Quixotic said...
January 19, 2010 at 12:43 AM

What a beautiful post, Your Mum sounds like an amazing woman, and I bet she is watching you and her grandchildren, and is super proud (and probably laughing her ass off when your daughter gives you trouble!).

Laura said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Wonderfully written. There are no easy words of comfort to give. By now I'm sure you know & can feel her with you through out the days.

Mad Woman said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:16 AM

Oh you had me crying. What a beautiful post for your mom! ((HUGS))

Eternally Distracted said...
January 19, 2010 at 2:21 AM

Every now and again I read a post that stays with me... your post will definitely be one of them.

I have no meaningful words to say to you and I am sure you don't need them anyway... just know that you made a difference to me today. Thank you.

Nathanael Rey said...
January 19, 2010 at 4:15 AM

I'm without words... amazing.

Secretia said...
January 19, 2010 at 7:59 AM

You are a good person for writing this. Seems like it couldn't have been that long ago, I bet. I know the feeling.

We were most of us "shit teenagers" but our Moms and Dads handled it because they loved us.

Secretia

kys said...
January 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. Even though it was years ago, losing a parent is something you never really get over. I love your letter and I know your mom does too.

Hugs and smooches -

Sharon said...
January 19, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Beautifully written. Your mom would be very proud of the woman you have become.

vinomom said...
January 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

What a wonderful post. You wear the Red Shoe! A reminder to us all to appreciate our mothers while they are here.

TjRenee said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM

This post touched me more than you can ever know. (((HUGS)))

Danielle said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:58 PM

She sounds like a very special mommy.

Mae Rae said...
January 19, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Dual-a ((huge hug)) and a great big squeeze to you. Loosing a prent is so hard to do. At the age of 23? I cannot even imagine. love you and bless this day for her!

Aunt Juicebox said...
January 19, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Aw, I'm so sorry. My mom just turned 60, and I can hardly believe it sometimes. She still seems young to me.

gayle said...
January 20, 2010 at 12:38 AM

I read this last night really late and was crying so that I couldn't comment!! I lost my mom when I was 15 and it wasn't like the movies...It hit me in my twentys..so I can imagine how hard it was on you. My dad died in 1998 and I still think about him every day...Your letter to your mom is so very touching!!

adrienzgirl said...
January 20, 2010 at 2:27 AM

What a lovely letter to your Mum. Just lovely. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Daffy said...
January 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM

She knows you were there

She knows the depth of your love as only a mother can

She heard you

Your heart beats a beautiful rhythm DM....

((((hugs))))

Terry said...
January 20, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Oh boy....took me a moment to gather myself, and even then all I can do is give you a cyber hug. *hug* *hug* *hug*
I also lost my mom...I was grown yet she was only 61....no matter, it's never easy! She was my best friend....
Awesome post!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...
January 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

That was beautiful. And I felt I could really relate to it since my father died May of 1996. Even though so much time has passed and we cry less, it just doesn't get any easier.

Many hugs to you. I know how hard *that day* of the year is.

Queen of Feisty said...
January 20, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Tears run down my face, I cry from sadness for your loss. (I also laughed at the soft bones eating part!) Your mom sounded amazing, and if you are like her she was probably pretty damn great.

Thanks for sharing with all of us, sometimes a blogger just needs to write, vent, or express themselves, and I'm just glad I got to read it.

I agree that is an age when a girl starts to appreciate her mom, I had just gotten over my "my mom is dumb" phase, and was just married with a zillion questions for her.

My mom lost her mom when she was 37 and I thought that was so young, I can't imagine life at 23 with no mom. You've seem to kick ass at life so far, she would be proud.

With all the loss my DH's family has had this year, I just keep telling the stories to my kids about family lost. It's all we can do, is just keep their stories alive.

Maybe sometime you could post a fun story about your mom, we would love to read more.

Feisty

June said...
January 20, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart with us. Beautiful letter that I will not forget.

It reminds me to love my Mom more while we both walk this earth.