It was around this time last year that my mom’s health began a steady decline. She kept it from me for a minute but in the first week of January she landed in the hospital and again in February. And so began the snowball effect that led to the ultimate avalanche–that of losing my mother. That this year has not been pretty has been an understatement. I was transferred to a new position where no one knew my business. And I had to quickly bring folks up to speed so that I could make those mid-morning trips to the local cancer center to be with my mom. Then comes a new job. Start the first day of May and mom dies on the 30th May.
I bawl like a baby every time I think of the circumstances of her passing. Mamma being the one who never liked to burden anyone with her issues (she lived with this cancer as her own secret for four years before we found out), I could see her deciding to make the conscious choice to ease on out of this life so that I can continue to live mine. She was always putting me and my brother before her needs. Having me to care for her was not what she wanted or expected. She was that kinda woman. I walked away with some of the greatest lessons learned this year all thanks to her.
1. Death is inevitable. It comes for the rich, the poor, the sinner, and the saint. It has no respect for your station in life or whatever else you think should matter.
2. Grieving is not for the faint of heart. It snatches you by the hair and drags you down a dark tunnel that seemingly has no end.
3. Friends never let friends fall. I knew who my inner circle was before this and their faces have not changed. Loss tends to fade out a few faces along the way. It’s okay, it happens.
4. Living under a rock keeps the drama away. When I decided to hide under the rock that is “higher than I”, I essentially threw up the proverbial middle finger to a whole lotta stuff. Some things just don’t register in my world anymore.
5. My tongue doesn’t hurt as much anymore cause I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Life is too damn short to be holding on the mess in your heart!
6. Make time for who and what matters. Life is all about making memories. Memories are all I have left of my mom. So what I want left of me begins with the making of those memories with those I love.
7. The world doesn’t need another super hero. Being a listening ear is usually all that’s needed. Being a “fixer” for everyone leaves you needing to be fixed. Take the S off your chest.
8. It’s okay to laugh. After all, life is pretty darn funny. Finding a reason to laugh eases the pain by loads.
9. Love deeply with no regrets. This is a finite world we live in. There is a beginning and end to everything. I held her hand, I kissed her brow. I’m thankful that I could.
10. Trust the process. It has its ebbs and flows. There are good days and bad. But it’s part of the process. Welcome it with open arms.
It’s a travesty to think all I learned could be whittled down into ten thoughts. When actually it can’t. But these speak volumes to where I started and where I am now.