Regretting the Past

“Don’t regret the past!”; I hear that time and time again, but you know what? I DO have something in my past I regret: not taking the time to visit my mom BEFORE she got sick.

When I found out she wasn’t doing well, I “finally” drove out there to see her, but by the time I got there, she was a different woman.

The mom I saw wasn’t the mom I remembered, yet now, it’s the only memory I have. At any given moment, when I think about her, I see her slumped in the hospital bed, struggling to breath, barely able to speak.

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That’s the memory I have now.

As I walk through the healing of all this, I plan to write, so I hope you’re ready to read.

If you’d like to help me cremate her, click here.

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The Day My Mom Died

For some reason, I’ve been wanting to write about the day my mom passed away (April 25th), so here it goes.

That Wednesday morning, I was called into work early, which was a Godsend.

During my shift, I taught a class, and at the end of the class, I read the poem I’d written a few days before. Afterward, I cried, and fifteen minutes later, my mom ended up dying, yet I didn’t know about it then.

A couple hours later, I received the call from my aunt. All I remember was her saying my mom had died a couple hours earlier. Instantly, I felt my heart drain and began to cry.

As I got off the phone, I wondered if I could handle completing my shift, but as I walked into the office to tell my boss, I KNEW I had to leave. ALL I wanted to do was go home and cry.

Right away, all the girls around me knew what had happened, and as I made my way to the door to leave, everyone lined up to hug me, even the maids, and every hug I received was one I needed so deeply. At times, I felt myself falling deeper into their arms.

One girl walked me out, and as we hugged again, she asked, “Are you okay to drive?” I told her, “Yeah, I’ll stop and get a soda.” We both laughed, but then, as I cried even harder, I leaned against the post and asked God to help me.

A mile down the road, I stopped for that soda and wanted something cherry, but wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t have anything cherry, so I cried a little harder and left.

I sent Carolyn a text, asking if I could pull her out of school. She said yes, so all I had between us was an hour drive. (sigh)

On the way, I was never alone. Of course, God was with me, but also, I stayed on the phone with someone, almost the whole way.

When I picked up Carolyn, immediately, she had me laughing. At times, the laughter turned into tears or the tears turned into laughter. She was so confused: she didn’t know if I was laughing or crying! We headed to Panda Express to order our takeout.

At home, we watched Netflix and ate (and I cried). It was perfect, but later in the night, I told her how I REALLY wanted something cherry, so we went to the store.

As we walked passed the liquor aisle, I said, “We’re so lucky I don’t drink anymore!” I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I did.

Anyway, at the end of the night, when exhaustion set in and the tears stopped flowing, we went to sleep.

I’m sure we all walk through grief differently. This was just a look into mine.

“The Next Generation”

[Written April 22, 2018, the Sunday before my mom died]

Every person in your life
is a teacher
They either show you who you want to be
or show you who you don’t

And every situation
has the same effect

Death
has the same effect

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of myself

Instead of grieving what I missed
as a daughter
I’m strengthened to pour out
as a mother

Instead of regretting what’s been lost
in the past
I’m hoping for what I’ll create
in the future

The past will forever be behind me
as the future will always be in front of me
And it’s up to me to choose
the direction in which I walk

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of the me I choose to be

When People Die

For some reason, ever since mom passed away, I really wanted flowers, so today, I finally went and bought some.

I guess you’d imagine that I’d get her favorite flower, but I have no idea what that was, so I bought my favorite color (yellow) and my favorite smell (carnations) and combined the two.

As I stood in line to pay, Continue reading

“Ashes”

when I think about death
one word comes to me…
“paralyzing”

paralyzing to the one who passed
because life on this earth
ceased

paralyzing to the one left behind
where life seems to only happen
in the mind

why is my mom’s death
paralyzing my life?

most mornings
I find it hard to “move”
I can “think” about doing things all morning
but the action seems
invisible

when people say “how are you?”
my first thought is “my mom died”
I don’t SAY it
but it’s there
not haunting me
but reminding me

I just feel
p.a.r.a.l.y.z.e.d.

when it’s time for work
I get in robot mode and show up
when it’s time for flags
I lay there and stare

why is that?
am I morning?
am I tired?
is this grieving?

that’s why I’m writing
I’m hoping to clear the way
for motivation to enter in
for flags to get done
for accomplishments to happen

maybe it’s good
my mom and I weren’t that close
I can’t imagine how that’d be if we were
but that’s the paralyzing part

when my mom died
the hope of ever becoming closer
died with her

“The Three Hour Cry”

no matter what you do
life gets messy
if you’re living it

people come and go
friends live and die
kids stay and leave

it just…
happens
this life stuff

but I’ve had friendships
that molded my future
and changed my life

I’ve experienced love
that inspired me to BE more
to live more

I’ve grown into the mom
that I wanted to be
that I was meant to be

and along the way
I’ve learned more and more
of who I’m not

being true to myself
has led me to confidence
and seeing my beauty

staying one with God
has lifted me through the toughest times
and the deepest griefs

His Oneness guides me
to love deeper
without walls

and every day
brings a chance to learn
what makes you smile

and today I learned
greasy food and chocolate
feed grief well

Grieving

Before you start reading, I want to let you know: this will be a sad one because, today, I’m writing for my personal healing and have already been crying, so you know…

The other night, I got to go to The Prelude again. It’d been a while, and I thought I hadn’t gone because my life had changed, and I’d been pretty busy working, leaving my husband, and starting a new life with my daughter, but as it turns out, something more had been keeping me from there, or should I say, some”one”… Continue reading

“Church-Hopping”

life was never confusing for her
she stumbled threw it quite easily
having never known “right”
she never noticed wrong
until that one day

as she looked at her kids
she wondered what to do
so they wouldn’t turn out like her

frantically
she searched within
to find out what was missing
but it wasn’t what
it was “Who”

God had not been sought

of course that was it!
without Him
life had been full of drugs
alcohol
cussing
and more

but how does one get God for her kids?
thus began the “church-hopping”
she’d hopped enough bars in her lifetime
now to the houses of God

one by one she sat
until finally at rest
but as she tried to ‘get God for her kids’
she ran into Him herself
but it took a while
for her to step INTO His heart

comfort was a place in chaos
love had been a place in bed
honor and respect were never spoken
and peace had been torment

how do you grow out of hell that’s normal
how do you receive a life void of drama
if wrong seems right
then right will seem wrong

eventually
Good prevailed in her heart
and what once was lost
has been recreated in time
never to be misplaced again