As I sit here in the dark, Mama is asleep in the next room.
Mother’s Day is, well, not the same anymore, to say the least.
When I think of what Mama has lost, I can’t even take it all in. 69 years of a life before Alzheimers, 69 years gone. Thankfully, we were part of those 69 years and we remember a lot of those. But I think it’s the 8 years since that are the hardest, the things she’s missed as if she’s been gone…
not remembering Tyler graduating from college and seeing him move to Texas to start a wonderful career;
not remembering Caroline graduating from college and seeing her teach her own students;
not remembering Cassie living abroad and then coming home to work in our school system;
not remembering Evan graduating from college and now be in law school;
not remembering Haley graduating from high school, dance at ECU, and now be in nursing school;
not remembering Chase go through middle school, now high school, get his drivers license, and go to his first prom;
and not remembering all the millions of moments in between, eight Christmases, eight Thanksgivings, 64 birthdays between the twelve of us, eight Mother’s Days and Father’s Days, eight years of laughter, gifts, the potato soup, the spaghetti, the sweet tea, other things we’ve tried to make like yours and then the things we won’t attempt… but you don’t remember. You’ve been robbed.
We’ve been robbed not getting to see her enjoy the absolute best years of her life, of seeing her enjoy her grandchildren, watching her travel with Daddy, take pies and casseroles to those who are sick or have lost loved ones, picking up friends and taking them to lunch, answering the phone to just remind me how to cook something, or what to do about this or that, seeing the flowers she planted in our yard without our knowing, seeing her hide presents for us that were found months after the holiday was gone, from just having our Mama and Nana… we’ve been robbed. The world has been robbed of a sweet, sweet woman.
As I sit here in the dark, I desperately want to hear her voice one more time. I can’t remember it anymore, it’s gone, what I would give to hear it just one more time.
But I sit here in the dark and know Mama is sleeping in the next room.
I am grateful to still be able to pick up Mama’s hands… the hands that tied our shoes, wiped our tears, changed our clothes, brushed our teeth and combed our hair, bathed us, led us where we needed to go, drove us thousands of miles as needed…. all the things we now do for her. Mama would rather not be here on this earth than to have someone do those things for her but we do them because inside, somewhere in that mind of hers, Mama’s there, and every once in a while, there’s a glimpse and even in that very brief moment, we just want her to know we all love her and miss her terribly and will for the rest of our lives.
I like to imagine while her body is here that her mind is already celebrating the victory in heaven, that as her mind fades, God takes that part of them on ahead to be with Him. I can only imagine. But all I know is the long goodbye is the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say.
For those of you just starting this journey, make recordings, write everything down, take pictures, ask questions… for in a moment, they’ll be gone. Prayers for all of you as you start, go through, or finish this journey. It’s one none of us ever wanted to take.