Monday, August 27, 2012
I am not sure how to start this, I was up reading pretty late and when I tried to go to sleep I kept thinking about this blog. I have attempted to start doing posts again, but they have felt forced. I still have many ideas and topics I would love to blog about, but right now I just don't have the energy or words to do it. I was trying to force myself to update, just put anything up to keep things going. However, the results have been lackluster and false. I've had a bunch of posts just sitting unfinished or in progress for months. Putting these up would be a mistake because they are not me, the spark isn't there. To write a good post I have to want to do it. I have been trying to want to because I love hearing from all of you and I love opening up people's eyes and minds to things they have never seen or thought about. The comments I received after my mom died helped me more than you could ever know. They comforted me in ways that no friend or family member was able to do.
People, my friends, family, my mom's friends all told me how strong I am, and I guess I am. I have kept my head above water, I managed graduate from college during the most heartbreaking and stressful time of my short life. But, despite being strong this has been hard. In my family we are all trying to adjust to a life without my mom. Death is so final, it is just so fucking final that its hard to process sometimes. My dad has been strong, we are a lot alike in that aspect. He has been keeping busy with work and projects like a garden for my mom and redecorating the house with his passion for French antiques. We got a new puppy, actually it was my dad's idea--so we now have 4 dogs!! Its been good for him though, he has bonded with this new pup. He spends most of the time outside in his blossoming garden and at night we sit there and talk about my mom. We talk about all the things that we could have done differently--"what if she had gotten another transplant?", "what if we stayed with City of Hope instead of going back to treatment in Newport?", etc. Those things drive you crazy but you can't help but replay the last few months or even two years in your head. My siblings, I am sad to say...well we have not grown closer. Not that I expected us to because they both have their own demons to work through.
I organized most of the funeral, my dad and me were the only ones who went to make arrangements. We finalized the plans on a Sunday--Mother's Day. I am not resentful that my sister didn't help me with anything, because I knew she couldn't. She lost her boyfriend, the love of her life four years ago, and death and loss has changed the person she once was. I never thought I would be able to pick out her coffin, flowers, church readings, and songs. But, you know what... we are all stronger than we think we are. My worst fear was realized, the thing that scared me more than anything in the world happened--and I am still here. Living, laughing, and trying to move forward. We have all had our moments or days where we just don't feel good.
But, the thing I can't forget is something that happened the day we found out she was dying. She was being taken to radiation and asked me "the little one" to come with her to the treatment. (by this time the cancer had gone to her brain and she had trouble with words and names. I am the youngest, so I was "the little one"--only she said it in Spanish). My dad and sister both came too because we all needed to feel close to her. Anyway, we were taken to the basement where they do the treatment, my mom was taken in a bed...we were waiting and my dad and sister were around somewhere but me and my mom were alone. She felt uncomfortable and anxious, and suddenly she grabbed my hand and looked at me...right in the eyes and asked me in a broken sob: "am I dying?" I just remember how terrified and sad she looked...it has haunted me. Her face and those words haunt me. I immediately told her no, that everything was in God's hands, that God was going to take care of her. Shortly after telling her that my dad and sister came to her bedside, my dad noticed right away that she was upset and asked her what was wrong, he told her not to be worried about the radiation because it was going to help her feel better. Her face instantly became a mask, she didn't say a word to him about what we had been discussing. She had only trusted me with that question...did I do the right thing? I don't know but I hope I did. No one else knew what had passed between us that day.
We shared an amazing mother-daughter relationship and friendship. On the day she passed there were so many people in her room, there were always people there. She was no longer conscious but would sometimes move her arms or fingers. Anyway I was sitting there, when I noticed that her chest was no longer moving, all the people around us were talking or something, but it startled me...I immediately got up and held her hand and looked at her face, a second or two passed and then she gave one large breath. I relaxed..I figured it was the medication or something that might have slowed her breathing, so I left the room to let the people there have some time with her because it was too crowded. My cousin who is a nurse was there and I was sitting outside the room when she rushed right out and said my mom wasn't breathing...she went to go find help. I immediately rushed in, and my mom was in the same position that I had left her...the nurse came in listened for her heartbeat and the only thing she said was: " I need to go get the doctor to confirm it". My dad had been out getting something to eat with my brother. I was numb. I had felt like I had already cried all the tears I had left. I had seen her last breath and not even known it. Others were sobbing, wailing and I just stood there looking at her. How fragile life is...one second and you are gone. She looked like she was sleeping, beautiful as always. When my dad came (my sister called him and he rushed back) we hugged, the others left the room to give us privacy. He kissed my mom and said "no more pain Liz, no more pain." They loved each other so much...they would hold hands and act like boyfriend and girlfriend. He met her when she was 19 years old, he was 29, and he always said "I am going to live to be 100 and you are going to bury me." It wasn't to be, my mom died at the young age of 54. Her own mother had died less than 3 months before at the age of 93. I am still trying to figure out why things work out like that. How did my grandma live so long, and why did her youngest child die first? I am rambling...but I wanted to be honest and I needed to say these things to someone. I needed to write this down because I couldn't sleep tonight.
My head is sorting out all these images and it will take time.
I am working for a company we started in January. It is doing well and I am excited for it to continue to grow. I might visit my friend in New York in October, and travel somewhere during December. I think we all need a break, I know I need to get out. My blog will continue to be here but I don't know when I will post again. It might be in a few days, next week, or next month, but I won't post again until I feel like I am not forcing myself to. I need to feel excited to put something out there. So thank you all for everything, I have not given up and I will still be around. Email me... if I don't answer right away, I am not ignoring you. I am really not of my generation because I never answer my i-phone or have it attached to me at all times, and I don't check my email everyday. But I will always eventually respond...I promise. I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer, and I will be seeing you.