Have you ever had that happen to you? You think the cake you are eating is great and could never disappoint and then as you swallow, the piece becomes lodged in your throat. That is my life today. Today is the piece I never wanted to swallow, but had no choice...and it hurt. It feels as though it is still there..even as I write this there is an ache in the middle of my throat. This piece marks the 17th year since my mother died. I was 16 at the time and a completely self absorbed teenager. That is one thing I wish I could go back and change. I would have cared more about her and who she was. Then she was just my mom. You know the lady who never let me do anything and was ruining my life. Now she is the mother that I wish was my friend. In all honestly..it was me who was ruining my life, not her. Not to say she was perfect..she wasn't. There are some decisions she made that I know of that I have to know what "not" to do. Like, hiding bills from your husband and getting so far in debt, there is almost no way out. But I am sure there is so much about her that was good and inspiring. Like the fact that mother was handicap. You know most people don't know that about her. When I talk about her, it is never anything I think to tell people. But she was. One of her legs was half the length of the other, and she was missing toes on each foot. She had 4 on the normal leg and 3 on the small leg. She was able to walk with a wooden leg. How I wish I could have her to ask questions like.." Mom, how was it growing up with a handicap?" "How did poeple treat you?" "If they were mean, how did you handle it?" "Why did you become a teacher?" " "Did you ever feel like God wasn't there?" " Mom, do think my wedding dress is beautiful?" "Mom, will you come into the delivery room with me?" "Mom I am so worried about Nathan sometimes, what should I do?" "When you have disagreements with your husband, what should you do?"
I could go on and on..and truth be told I would never stop. It is so funny how death affects you. In my life it has done a few things. I found myself being fearful of dying early in life..leaving my children without a mother. So I began a journal to my daughter. I attempt to answer random questions..anything I can think I might want to know from my mom. That way in case I die, I know she will know me in some way. I have always struggled with what to do for my sons. Still working on that one. Death has also made me love my siblings. They are my family...and i think about them all the time. At 16 I could have cared less about them...not anymore. I often think of Ryan and wonder how is doing on this day. Not only did he lose his mother but he lost her 10 before his 14th birthday. When it comes to my sister Rhonda, I think I try to play the mom role sometimes. Which, I admit is probably not a good idea...sorry Rhonda :( Then there is my youngest brother, Derrick. He was only 7 when she died. He has no memory of her what so ever. who can blame him? He was only 7. I think I feel kind of motherly to him as well. I know he can be a jerk and make extremly stupid and destructive choices, but deep inside my being I can't help thinking losing his mom played a part into him being so seperate from the rest of us. Maybe he is being just stupid right now, but my heart thinks he has junk inside that he is so scared to look at and so he runs...and doesn't look back. That makes me sad.
So here I sit , at the computer, feeling emptied of words and tears.
That piece is still hard to swallow...17 years later. I know it always will be, no matter how old I get.
All I know is I don't want to eat a piece of that cake for a really long time.