Today marked six months since the worst day of my life. On February 27, 2012, my Mom passed away. She truly was one of the sweetest, most gentle souls this world has ever known; with a smile that was infectious. And that is not hyperbole or revisionist history. Ask anyone who took the time to get to know my mother and they will tell you the same. Even after her 20 year battle with polycythemia vera, and the complications brought about by it, was coming to an end, she was still as upbeat and happy as she could manage.
I’ve been dreading this day for about a month now. Believe me the reality of the situation settled in a long time ago, but there is something about knowing that you have been without one of the most cherished people in your life for half a year. It is numbing and heartbreaking and lot of other words that I find beyond my vocabulary, even as a writer. It very well could be the greatest single loss in my entire lifetime — past, present, and future. Considering I don’t have children, the only other thing that would compare would be the loss of my wife. And over the past month, a couple situations have made the apprehension worse.
About three weeks ago I ran into a former co-worker of my Mom’s. We greeted each other and her first question to me was, “How’s Ann doing?” The flood of emotions that those three simple words brought about was enough to tear down the Hoover Dam. My first thought was ‘Oh, my God, she doesn’t know!’ Having to tell this dear sweet woman that one of her friends had passed away was just as hard as it was the first time I told anyone. And then the rest of the conversation is just as awkward as a teenager who has grown a foot in less than a year. I’m trying to make her not feel like a heel for bringing it up, but at the same time I just want to break down right there. It is one of the most uncomfortable confrontations I’ve experienced.
The next event that poked at my anxiety was a conversation I had with a friend of mine. I was applying one of my better traits that my Mom blessed me with by being a sympathetic ear for some family problems my friend was experiencing. My friend was have some trouble with his elderly parents, in particular his mom. He was feeling bad because they had been arguing the night before, but he said he couldn’t help it because she was being so infuriating. And then it hit me — I would love to be able to get in to an argument with my Mom just so that I could hear her voice once again.
So, here we are. It’s five minutes until this day is over. I guess it would be a good time to take stock of where I am six months on. I still miss my Mom with every breath I breathe. Not a day has passed that I have not thought about her in some way. Some make me smile, some instill longing, and others still make me weep. But, what I do know is that same beliefs that got me through the initial loss and sorrow still hold true today. My Mom is no longer suffering. She is in a place where she has no more pain. Polycythemia vera does not exist there. Those are the things that are my emotional truths. I will miss you until we meet again, and I will love you forever, Mom, but this world will never be the same without you in it.