TW: death, cancer
Today makes it three years since my mom passed away. Three years is a long time. But it also feels like it happened yesterday.
I try not to think about it too much, because it hurts so bad. I miss her. Most of the time I feel like I lost the one person in my family who had my back, who I could depend on for anything, who I could always trust and who truly loved me. She kept my dad from being too emotionally and verbally abusive and because she would tell my dad when something was wrong with me it kept my stepmom from saying too many awful things.
We didn't always have the best relationship; when I was in high school we fought a lot and I was pretty mean. I used to think I was legitimately a horrible teenager until I was talking to my therapist (the same woman who was my therapist in high school), and she told me that I was completely normal. But the moment my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, everything changed. We became so close. She was the one person I wanted to spend time with. I never wanted to be away from her. After the moment she got sick, all I wanted to do was be near her. I wanted to make everything right.
I was lucky; we were all lucky. She fought like hell for six years and never showed how sick she was until the very end. She was the coolest, bravest, most wonderful and amazing mother that has ever existed (I might be slightly biased) and the worst part of living for me is knowing that everything I do from now on, I'll have to do without her. Getting married, having kids, raising a family- I have to do all of those things without my mom, and that sucks.
My mom was a special ed teacher for more than 20 years. She loved kids, she loved her job. She worked for two years while she was getting chemo, only retiring when she was too exhausted to keep going to school every morning at 6. She wanted some time to travel and enjoy her life, see a little bit more of the world. She grew up in the bay area- Berkeley and Richmond. She saw the Beatles play twice. Once she had to sneak out of her room so her father could drive her to the concert, because she was only 13 and her mother didn't want her to go. My mom took me to my first concert when I was two. She doesn't remember who we saw, only that I loved it, so she kept taking me to any concert she could. Every year for my birthday (it's in December) she'd take me to see the Nutcracker in Oakland with my grandmother. When I was ten I begged so she finally took me to see The Phantom of the Opera instead.
She tried for years to reconcile her Catholic faith and being a lesbian. She gave generously to our church and believed in doing good and kind things for all people. She loved being outdoors, she loved gardening, she loved hiking and camping and swimming. She loved to water ski. My mother was the most active person I know, and there's no doubt in my mind that it helped her stay alive for as long as she was. She met her partner when I was six, and they were together until the day she died. I've never seen that kind of love before and it's all I've looked for in a relationship, because even though my mom died so young and her partner is now alone, I think they were two of the luckiest people in the world to have found each other.
I was lucky to have my mother. I have been blessed beyond anything I could ever ask for in life and I know it. My mom was the most amazing lady on earth, and I can't honestly say that I want to keep up this living thing without her here. There are days when I want to give up and quit, because I can't see the point. But I don't. Because my mom was the strongest person in the world and I have to keep going. Most of my goals in life revolve around wanting her to be proud of me.
I miss my mom every day, but I miss her especially today, because today reminds me that I lost her.
So to take my mind off of my sadness, and to celebrate her sense of humor and her giving spirit, I'm starting one of my subversive cross stitch projects for a friend and watching The Hobbit (that last bit is just for me, I doubt my mother could sit still for three hours to watch a movie). Later I might go get some ice cream and more craft supplies. But today is just one of those days where I ask myself, "What have you done to make her proud?" I don't honestly have an answer but I hope I've done enough. I do miss her so very much.