Because I have a new baby, I am up a lot at night. This is bad and good.
Bad because, well, duh.
Good because I get to think. And read. And after the baby goes back to sleep, sometimes write.
My mom passed away last Friday. It was expected. She’d been sick for many many years with alzheimer’s disease which is a gradual horrible no good terrible illness that she feared all her life. So we knew it was coming but when I got the phone call, after days of sitting by her side with my family, when I got the phone call that she was gone, I felt like I’d been kicked. Hard. It was like a physical reaction and I just broke down.
My boys watched that. I can’t tell if that’s bad they saw me sobbing or okay that they saw me sobbing. In any case, it was much harder than I expected. Not because I wanted her to stay–she was so sick. I know it was better. It was harder because she is my mom. My mom and one of the best people I’ve ever known.
So late at night, I’ve been reading my old journals. Looking through scrapbooks. Trying to sift through my emotions. Sometimes I feel sad because I worry I can’t remember anything about Mom beyond the sickness that overtook her. Then I’ll see a picture or read a journal entry or find a ticket stub that triggers a memory. Instead of just thinking about that memory, I’m writing it down as fast as I can. I don’t want them to disappear. I don’t want her to disappear.
Even yesterday when I was sorting through my boys’ books I found so many that my mom used to read to me: Corduroy, The Little House, The Funny Little Woman, Ira Sleeps Over, Leo the Late Bloomer. I sat on the floor and cried.
So now more than ever I’m committed to not only writing my own life, but writing those of the people I love. It’s a gift I can give myself, my boys, my husband, my future grandkids, my siblings but most of all my mom. I love you, Mom. I always will and you’ll never disappear.