Saturday, October 7, 2006; I was 18 and living with my grandmother. I awoke to a day much like any other since I had begun staying with her. I sipped my coffee on the front porch, checked my myspace on her computer. Later, we sat together in her living room watching a movie and chatting. Then the phone rang.
My grandmother answered the phone, and I could tell by the tone of the call that something horrible had happened. My first assumption was that it had to do with my elderly great-grandmother, but when my grandmother hung up she turned to me and said “your mother passed away.” I was struck with shock and disbelief, my brain could not process this sudden and tragic news. I felt sick as I recalled the last time I had seen my mother the week before, we had a fight, I was angry with her. I never got to apologize. My mother was 38 years old.
So many things have happened in my life since that day. I moved from Oregon to California to be with Jeremy, who is now my husband. I lost my first pregnancy in 2008, married Jeremy who was my high school sweetheart in 2012, gave birth to our son Jack prematurely in 2014.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, or wish she was here, or regret our last conversation. My mother didn’t get to watch her three children reach adulthood or hold her grandbabies. I have a mark on my soul that will always show. I do my best to honor her memory in my own way. Sometimes my way is not completely understood by all, but that is the result of my lack of closure.
I remember Jeremy telling me soon after my mother passed, and after he asked me to come and live with him in California, that he would share HIS mother with me. He meant it too. My mother-in-law is a mother to me just as equally as she is to her own children. She offers me unconditional love and support and encouragement in ways that I never expected. So much so that calling her my mother-in-law is something I do only to explain in public that my husband is not my brother. I call her “mom” when I don’t call her “grammy”. I don’t ever want to lose her because I know just how heartbreaking that is, and the thought of going thru that all over again is enough to reduce me to tears. I tell her all the time that she is not allowed to go anywhere, and I mean it. She is a pillar of strength, a beacon of light on my darkest days. I can’t imagine where I’d be without her guidance. She is my best friend.
When my Husband’s father died unexpectedly last March, I knew just how he felt. Though I could offer him no help, no comfort. I cannot feel painful feelings for him as much as want to, and now he too knows what I mean when I say that his mother isn’t allowed to go anywhere. We do have some consolation, our son Jack. He is comprised of pieces of all of our loved ones. We know in our hearts that our loved one’s who have passed watch over and protect him. Jack’s grammy loves him madly, and we are so fortunate to all be under the same roof together, I am grateful for that every day. Jack WILL grow up to know his grammy, to love her and learn from her, to make her laugh out loud and smile wide. I won’t have it any other way.