It’s been three years without you…
I sat down and wrote this because talking about how I feel or what’s in my head isn’t something that comes easy to me. I usually find my words in a song and then it all makes sense. Three years ago it was Blank Stares by Jay Allen, and this year it’s Til You Can’t by Cody Johnson. The bridge of this song is everything to me … it’s how I live every day and what I would do for one more phone call.
I know that this blog post might only resonate with some, but I hope just one person reads this and knows that they aren’t alone. I am with you, every damn day – those tears I share with you. And for everyone else, make that phone call to whoever is your momma figure in your life, and just soak it in. Well… here it is, how I feel three years after losing my momma.
How do you be a momma without yours? Well, I am still trying to answer that question.
I lost my mom three years ago to dementia … I should say 12 years ago. I mourned the loss of my mom as we drove around for mundane everyday errands, enjoying endless Dunkin’ donuts drive through orders, and hashing through squams about what the menu should be for a holiday gathering. I watched her slip away as I sat next to her.
I stumbled across a blog post I wrote for the first Mother’s Day without her … and it immediately brought me back to 2019.
She came up to visit for the last time two months before her passing and lucky for me, she ended up watching my kids for the night, with the supervision of my dad and uncle of course. But, looking back, how lucky was I? How lucky were my kids? I have pictures and videos that often land as my top memories on my iPhone. Who would’ve thought when my uncle pressed that red button, this was the very last memory that my kids would have of their nana and honestly, that I would have of my momma?
I often find myself, fighting back the tears, holding back the anger, and counting down the minutes of my day until I can lay down, and escape into my thoughts. I walk by a teenage girl shopping with her mom, and I immediately go back years. I remember fighting over the “outfits” I could purchase or couldn’t. I overhear a new grandma talking to her daughter and helping her figure out the feeding schedule. I can hear the frustration in the new momma’s voice, and I fight every urge to walk over, hug her, and to whisper in her ear, have patience, you will miss this. I walk by the daughter, helping her momma out of her car as they walk into her favorite restaurant to enjoy her favorite meal during their weekly date, that is always prescheduled. All of this is gone, this relationship of a mother and daughter. I’m in a motherless world, with nowhere to turn, and I’m in a daughterless world, with no one to look to.
Days go by, some are easy, others are not. I find myself cursing Jesus, praising Jesus, and begging Jesus for help. I used to feel your presence daily … but not as much as I once did. I always felt confident that I could feel you, and that you wouldn’t leave me alone in this world. But as the years stretch on, your presence is weaker and the older I am getting. I pray to have the conversations we had over tea, the talks we had as I cried myself to sleep, and the fights we had over where I thought I was going on Saturday night.
No one prepares you to raise a family without your momma, but if there is any time in life where you need your mom most its then. I mean, who is supposed to help me understand why my two-year-old is losing his mind over white cheese versus yellow cheese, chicken nugget over fish stick or water over juice. The only manual I’ve ever seen on being a great mama is written in the love language demonstrated by your own.
And because of that, trying to navigate the every day, the big decisions, and all the things that come with being a momma – I rely on my memories, some of which are so clear it’s like it was yesterday, others that are faded, almost gone from my mind. But I know that she is watching me, watching them, and whispering softly in my ear which way to go. Until we meet again, I’ll walk this road alone, hopefully making you proud along the way.
If you can’t tell my momma means the world to me and I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. This year, my family and I have decided to start a foundation in her honor, A Beacon of Hope Foundation, with 100% going to Alzheimer’s research. It just has to stop – stay tuned for more info, but we’re doing this, and we will fight until there is a cure, solid treatment, and prevention.
I got my head up momma.