Okay, so not really disaster… I was just feeling dramatic. Shocking, I know.
“I look placid, you see, that’s why people think I’m fine. Inside I worry a lot.”
1 month and 3 days ago my world stopped spinning. Except it didn’t. I sat in a living room with the best people in the world and we said goodbye. The most peaceful and compassionate goodbye I have ever seen. I say seen because when I look back on it now it is like I am a fly on the wall, I see the events unfolding I see us all holding hands and silently sobbing, but I don’t see through my own eyes. I wonder if this is a survival thing? if I disconnect just enough to be able to look back and see the positive, the love, the beauty. Then I will be okay. I work every day to see these things, and I do see them. I am surrounded by positivity, love, and beauty. But, in some moments I give in and only see the negativity, the loss, and the dark clouds. Before anyone gets too worried about me please know I am sharing this because I need to write it, to put it out there, to be honest with myself and those I love. I am searching for tools to cope every day. Writing is one of those ways. I have been cooking some really awesome food from Mom’s Pinterest page…but lack motivation to write about it. I will, I promise.
Yesterday I had an awakening moment, a moment I desperately needed. Thomas and I found ourselves at the library just in time for the annual book sale. Thousands of books new and old alike priced cheap and ready for the picking. I was immediately transported back to my childhood. As a family we spent hours and hours at used book stores and libraries. Mom would go off in pursuit of authors she loved or resource material for upcoming shows, Bob would hunt for adventure inspiration in the non-fiction section, Rob and I would find our way to the kids, young adult, and history (I had a strange obsession with Mary Todd Lincoln) sections. At some point we would come up for air, pick up our pile of books and go in search of each other. I remember vividly making an argument for a copy of Charlotte’s Web (which I already owned and had read numerous times) because this copy felt better in my hands. It was truly one of those perfect family outings…something for everyone.
This flooding of childhood memories, for the first time since Mom’s death, was not painful. Not that I haven’t felt pain since, trust me I have. It was just this one moment. It was just good…not good with a side of heartache…just good. I think I have figured out why. For the first time in a long time I was able to remember a Mom who wasn’t sick, who wasn’t dying, who was just my Mom. I desperately needed this. I am adding this to my list of personal mantras, “Mom was not her illness”. It may seem so obvious to many of you but to me it was lost in the day to day. She was so many things but, even in the worst of times she never let the cancer take over her identity. I had 27 years with a Mom who wasn’t sick, and 1 year with a Mom who refused to let cancer dictate her life. Of course, I want more time. But, man, I am grateful for the amazing moments and memories I have.