I remember you saying in the hospital, “You got to be tough if you want to live.”
Greater truth has seldom been spoken and I find myself more and more often embroiled in personal struggle. I miss our phone calls, even if they never accomplished much it was comforting to know we could commiserate about our diverse problems. I know there are others who miss your voice as well, and while I don’t mean to sound selfish, it’s your voice I hear in those wee hours of the night when sleep escapes me.
I knew life would be harder without you, even though I fervently prayed for your suffering to end. I knew I needed to step forward into a new chapter of my life but it might be easier if the obstacles were physical ones to move. I still weep when I think of all the things you wanted to do but never accomplished, however simple they may have been. There are times I curse myself for not making them more a priority.
I try to find solace in the fact that you are once again in the company of those you loved so dear. I’ll never forget holding your hand in the hospital as you shed tears over how badly you missed your father. To hear you lament over “I haven’t seen Daddy in so long. I miss him and love him so much..”
Needless to say I felt helpless and no amount of spoken sympathy could soothe that pain. Each day I understand more and more what that feels like, and a tiny piece of me fades with each moment it happens. I find my passion for things we shared has begun to fade as well, which I noticed most recently attending cruise night and that child-like charm simply isn’t what it used to be.
Making the big step in retiring from the plant was spooky all on its own, but I have found my new job to be a new source of daily challenge. I suppose I never considered the emotional impact and wear of a sales job before but it never ceases to amaze me how people put forth so many of their worst qualities when you try to help them. The insults both subtle and blatant can be startling, and it’s difficult to breathe deeply and walk away. All of the above being compounded by the shit-slinging clown circus that comes to town every election year.
Mother’s Day keeps getting harder each passing year, and while I am insanely proud of my daughter and her precious family, there is a vacancy that will remain so for the rest of my days. I relish every memory I have of you and the times we shared. Those gemstones are safely held within me and cannot be erased save God see fit to wither my mind away. Maybe you didn’t realize the impact your life carried while you were here, but each of us holds fast to the threads that bound us to you.
Lacey’s mom recently passed away and the mark it left was unexpectedly hard to fathom. We held each other and wept as we now both fell into the category of children with no surviving parents, and it brings a unique kind of loneliness that is hard to describe. We know there are others to be thankful for, and still others that we love so dear, but it’s like a beautiful puzzle laid out that is missing a piece that cannot be replaced.
To say at this point that I love you and miss you is a drastic understatement, but I know you suffered through this very same dilemma and now so must I. The sound of your voice singing la-la-la along with certain songs still makes me break down, and the exaggerated moves of playing the imaginary piano still wave in my mind like a conductor in front of an orchestra.
I will never be able to express the quantity of all you poured into my life, and to say I’m grateful falls desperately short, but if there is one thing that can possibly come close to saying it all its two simple words that I would shout from the rooftops. Two words that I would defy any and all to say to me with disdain. Two words that I will never be more proud to stand as an example of, so let them be written and placed alongside my very name with pride…
Godspeed Mom, until we meet again.
-T. August Green