Monday, April 15, 2013

A Birthday Without Mom

A few weeks ago I experienced my first birthday without mom. The entire birthday weekend hit me very hard. It was filled with a feeling of missing-ness and my heart just hurt so deeply that at times, it felt as if I couldn't breathe. This was the first birthday that she wasn't here.  30-some years ago, she was in a hospital about to give birth to me...her first born. And today, she wasn't here. That physical bond was not present. It was a strange and foreign feeling...that's the best way I can even describe it.

First things first. I was showered by emails, phone calls, messages from family and friends all over the world so I definitely felt very loved and thank everyone who reached out to me. But,  my heart ached from mom not being here. What would normally be our "mom-daughter hanging out day",  was spent with a cousin and her family. They truly went above and beyond to make the day seem not so sad and I truly had a wonderful time. We had lunch, we laughed, and even had a birthday cake with WAY too many candles to blow out (I'm getting old!).

The day after, on my actual birthday was very special as well. My husband knowing that mom was always the first person to call me each year to wish me a happy birthday very early in the morning, called my cell phone while I was getting up to take a shower. Yes, he was in the same room. Haha! He knew how sad it made me to not get that early morning phone call and took matters into his own hands to start my birthday off with a smile. It was such a silly but quirky gesture of love and thoughtfulness. We spent the rest of the day together. We stayed in and spent the day cooking together, and watched a movie. It was nice :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

She is OK

Lately I've really been at peace with all that has happened.  I'm sure some of you out there have noticed that from my recent postings. Yes, I still miss mom deeply and think of her each and every day. But there's something I wanted to share and I feel like that I can talk about it now. It's really been the driving force of this peace of mind that I have with me now. 

Before I start, there's one thing that you should know about me. I am not a huge religious person. I don't follow a set faith. I tend to be more logical, rational, and objective. When mom got sick, I didn't rely on faith or religion to get me through those hard times; I relied on my inner strength, and the support systems that I had which I am so so thankful for.

The whole idea of what there was in store for mom after she passed really messed with my head. The concept of just void and her soul just vanishing from sheer existence really bothered and depressed me to no end.

The night before she passed, I stayed with her very late. She was asleep for most of the time. She would come in and out of consciousness and I'd tell her about our move to the new hospice the next day. I ended up going home to get some of my things packed because I was planning on spending pretty much every moment with her at the new hospice and wanted to grab a few hours of sleep too.

Sometime around 5 am, I drifted deep into sleep. I dreamt of mom.  It was the most calming and serene feeling which I found was rather odd because up to this point, all the dreams I've had of mom were filled with anxiety, paranoia, sadness and hopelessness. In previous dreams of her for the last nine months, she was also sick and looked sick and I was constantly in tears and struggling to just come up for air because it would feel like my entire world was crushing down on me. But, for the first time, this dream was different. Mom was right in front of me. She was dressed in a red shirt and floral skirt with a wine cooler in hand. She looked how she use to wig, no hookups, no sickness.  She had the most welcoming and warm smile. Then she spoke to me. She said, "Baby, I'm fine at this new place now".  In my conscious mind, I thought she was referring to the new hospice that we'd be moving to later that day.  Before I could speak to her or reach out to her, I was quickly awaken by my phone ringing. It was the nurse calling to notify me that mom had just passed away.

Looking back at it all, I don't know what to make of my dream. Was it just a dream or was it more? I'll never really know. All I do know is that I needed it. I needed to know that she was fine after all we went through together. It made me feel comforted knowing that her love for me and our shared journey created that one very special moment that I will always hold very dear to my heart.  She really loved me. And she knew that I loved her from the day I was born to her last moments. She saw all that I did for her, the sacrifices I made, and in the end that's what true love really is.  To love freely and openly and to receive that back.  She did that for me.