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April Showers

Someone's Mom died last Thursday. As I did some random shopping that night, feeling good to be by myself buying milk and cheese, I saw flashing cherries and wondered who got hit this time. I went on with my night. I didn't want to be a ghoul.

Turns out, someone did get hit and die. Someone who works where I do, his ex-wife was jaywalking in a dark part of a very busy road and someone hit her. She had two young children, who thankfully still have their father and his girlfriend, a stable home.

Someone said at the wake, the little girl who is 7 or so kept saying, "Daddy, I want to go home now"

This April will mark 17 years since my mother died. My heart was breaking as I heard them talk. Because despite the time passed, the changes, the places, the person I was and now am, I still vividly remember being that tiny creature grabbing for my father's hand, hoping he'll hold me up, trying not to breath. Because I didn't want to take in any of the despair. Anymore would have drowned me.

April's are tough. What should be a glorious month of growth, of change and newness is instead forever cemented in my head as a rotten month. Not even my wedding anniversary changes that. While April 27 weighs in my mind so heavy, I have trouble remembering if I was married on April 16, 17 or 18. I can never remember. The Dorf becomes upset in a joking way about it, saying it's him that is supposed to forget. But how can something so seemingly small like my marriage compete with the day I lost my mother? But how can't I move past it.

Sometimes it's like I feel her, like I can see her around me, heavy in the air. I stop to wonder how much she'd love her grandkids, her granddaughters who likely wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for her dying. Funny the paths life can send you on sometimes. My father tells me he sees her in me, in subtle things, dirt swept into corners, threats that aren't threats I open chocolate chip cookies and start crying, smelling my mother in the butter and brown sugar. I so very much want her to be there, to see my daughters who are so much like me, and whose smiles I will kill to preserve. I wonder if she would be proud and happy for me, in my crap house, with the family I love so very, very much.

April, more than anything, makes me realize how much I can grasp the moment, how easy it is for me to stand in the moment and just be. Because I never took the time when she was here. Because I have nothing left of her, save a few pictures, a rosary, and a broken heart. Because only now, as a parent, can I understand how truly awful, terrifying and suffocating it must have been when the doctors finally said "Let go. There's nothing more we can do. We can't save you." How did she ever look in my eyes and not just crumble a little inside? How did she muster the strength?

I want my mother whole again. I would sacrifice everything I've ever had to go back, and have my mother not die of breast cancer at 42. I would give everything to finish out Grade 6 like everyone else, to not have done my speeches on Cancer and hospitals and living day to day in a numb zone and having an ulcer at 12. I would give up everything to spend one last day with my mother, one last day to sit and talk and be ourselves, to remember her touch and her voice. I want to give everything to go back to that warm happy house that turned so damn cold after everything changed. After her clothes disappeared, after the cereal went stale and the last of the guilt food was thrown away.

I remember begging to be the one that died, back when I thought her god was real.

Daddy, can we go home now too?

How very similar we seem.

My mother died in April as well, this Friday it will have been 8 years ago (8 years?!?) I was barely 18. We waited for death to take her for so long, sadly, it seemed a relief for all of us when it came.

However, I think of her always, and marvel that she never saw me married, never knew my son, nor my wonderful husband who I just know she'd have loved for his patience and kindness and loyalty.

My mom was 43 when she passed. Each year I appreciate how very young she was and how very human and miserable she was. I also see so much of her in myself, I worry for my own fate and as I rapidly reach her age, I know I'll feel relief if I pass her in age, and sadness that she wouldn't be there to talk about it.

I know they time heals all wounds, but it really doesn't does it? My sister made it to the 7th grade...so I understand your statement there as well. I pushed myself thru college as a single mom and for a long time I hadn't realized, I was doing it, in large part, for her. When she died, my ambition and appreciation of success died as well.

However, I have a wonderful family that I only wish she could have been a part of, and at the same time, feel fortunate that they never saw her as she was at the last. My mother briefly met my husband, only once. She was borrowing some sugar from me, and said "hi guy!" in her cheerful "good-day" self. I wish he knew her good points, but legend often is remembered by their bad and too many people have too much bad to say and I'm sure those are the points that stay with him.

I sometimes feel her hand on my shoulder, I swear I can, and sometimes I have to catch myself from smiling at the person who is not really situated on my left. I don't know as I believe in any higher power (or if I do, i've no idea about it and I'm content that way) but it makes me wonder sometimes....

I wish I had the right words for your situation, Dor. I mean, everyone I know who has experienced the loss of someone as close as a parent is like a hero to me!

I can't imagine that I'll be able to pick up and move on as well as you have. You've got a life and a family surrounding you. Even though I know you miss your mother greatly I can tell that you've been able to keep on keeping on (boy, that was cheesy, wasn't it).


By the way, flashing cherries mean something bad has happened? Why have I never heard that one before??

I hope I never have the reason to hug my children a little harder, I hope I just always do.

Poignant post. Thanks

It's hard on kids when they lose a parent when they're young. A guy I was friends with since we were about 4 lost his mother the year we were 16. When his mom died, he was the only kid still at home, and his father was in a pretty deep depression. He ended up being the one who made sure groceries were bought and bills were paid, because his dad was in no condition to take care of it himself.

I think it's harder on them at school too, because everyone wavers between being sorry for you and trying to act like nothing happened or everything is really awkward. It's hard when you say something like "Hey, my mom is making chicken pie tonight, wanna come over?" and see the look on their face and realize you've unintentionally reminded them of one more thing they won't see their mom doing. And after the first time you do that, it's hard to talk around them, because you don't want to inadvertantly hurt them again.

I don't know what to say, other than that I'm sorry she died. I wish that you had more time with her, and your girls had a chance to look forward to visiting her.

thank you guys.

It is totally hard on the people at school. I remember other kids looking decidedly uncomfortable around me after, and not knowing what to say. It's hard on everyone.

And you're allowed to be Cheesy Nicole-it's expected. And flashing cherries is just a cop car with the lights going-you know, red flashing lights...etc.etc.

Liesl, everyday I live and breathe is an excuse to hug my children, and should be everyones. Cherish them, and live knowing that the simple times are the ones they'll really remember. My favorite memory of my mother is one where we're playing with glasses and water, moving out fingers around the rims to make music. Such a peaceful time...

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