Last night something happened that wasn’t supposed to happen for a very long time. It wasn’t supposed to happen until I was old, until she was old, and until she had been there for all of the important events in my life. She was supposed to be there when I graduated with my associates degree in June, she was supposed to be there to listen to me talk for hours about the excitement of speaking at Jamboree, she was supposed to be there when I got my teaching credential, when I got married and complain about how girly and traditional I am and how I should just elope in Vegas and save the money for a house, she was supposed to be there to walk me through having my kids, to be there when I call her at 1 in the morning crying because my baby won’t sleep. After all of that she was supposed to go.
She wasn’t supposed to leave before that. She wasn’t supposed to make me go through this. I am only 20 and far too young to be without a mother. I should be studying for exams and pondering whether or not I could afford a study abroad trip. I should not be getting ready to plan a funeral.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not now.
My mom was a very smart lady. She loved to read nearly everything she could get her hands on, especially if it was history related. When I was a kid she always pushed me to love learning. We watched History Channel and A&E on Saturday mornings because she always wanted me to think. She never allowed me to accept what other people said at face value but to instead think it through and create my own opinion. Once I was a teenager we got into a lot of political debates. We talked a lot about philosophy and religion. We talked a lot about world events and discussed how we could help.
She was also an adventurous spirit and a self proclaimed rule breaker. I was the complete opposite as a cautious child who always followed the rules and it drove her crazy. When my parents split up when I was 7, Mom and I drove to Seattle to live with my aunt and cousin. She named us the Intrepid Explorers and we used to say that to each other all the time. I remember when we drove past Mount Shasta and how big it looked. It was beautiful with all of the snow and we just kept screaming “WHOA!” at each other.
One time while we were visiting my cousin at Lake Martha, Washington she dared me to swim across the lake. When I didn’t take her up on the offer, she told me we were going to. I complained the entire time as I dressed into my bathing suit and followed her down to the dock. I tried crying but she wasn’t having any of it. She kept telling me that I could do it, that she knew I could do it and that it would be a character building experience. We got in the lake and began swimming. I complained a lot along the way but she kept pushing me to keep swimming. When I got tired we would just float and relax a bit. But I did it – I swam all the way across the lake and was exhausted. I was maybe 9. And even though afterwards I was so mad that she made me do it, I understand now that it was to teach me that I could do anything I wanted to, no matter how impossible it seemed, if I just put my mind to it.
She also had a great sense of humor. She was so quick witted and funny and could throw a joke out incredibly fast. Her jokes were side breaking and we would roll on the ground laughing with tears in our eyes.
What really gets me with all of this is that yesterday started off as such an ordinary day. But all of a sudden things turned for the worse and everything changed in a matter of hours. I knew she was sick but things just went downhill so fast.
My mom was an alcoholic for the second half of my life. It was one of the reasons that our relationship was strained. She started showing signs of liver disease last September. But she didn’t listen and ignored all of the warnings. She went back to the hospital in January and nearly died. But she pulled through (stubborn and feisty as she is). She then talked of getting sober and my dad and I took care of her.
But when she went into the hospital this time by paramedics, even though I knew that her chances we slim, I really thought that her stubbornness would somehow make her pull through again. But it didn’t work this time. I still can’t believe how downhill everything went. I can’t believe how fast everything happened. In literally six hours she went from regular living and talking to 911 being called to her passing away. I truly can’t believe how fast everything happened. I really never expected something so quick.
So in the coming days and weeks my dad and I will be embarking on a new chapter of our lives. We’ll be planning memorial service arrangements (I never thought this would be happening to me at 20).
I want to thank everyone for their continued love and support that has been expressed to me. You guys really do mean the world to me and I am so blessed to have such supportive, caring, and loving people in my life. “Thank You” doesn’t even come close to expressing the appreciation that I have for you guys. Please keep the prayers coming because it is going to be a very long and difficult journey.