Can you remember when you were younger and you would say “if I die”, as if you were immortal, untouchable. The idea of living to thirty was an achievement in itself because that seemed so old!
And then you got older and the semantics changed. It was no longer “if I die” but rather “when I die”‘
It’s almost a year that my mom left me, alone and feeling lost.
Any loss is terrible. I cannot begin to comprehend the loss of a child or a life partner but I can tell you that losing a mom has left me broken. There is no bond like a mother and a child. None. And when she left I lost a part of my identity, a sense of who I am.
My mom knew everything about me. And even though I never thought she understood me and my complex ways she did. The hundreds and thousands of broken and damaged pieces that made me who I was. She knew all my secrets. She knew my first marriage was a mistake. She even told me so. And 4 years later when I met her for a coffee to tell her I was getting divorced there wasn’t a “I told you so!”
My mom loved me with all my perfections and flaws. She didn’t see a broken person. She saw a beautiful mosaic with all the potential in the world. And then she left. Suddenly and without a goodbye.
And now my dad is is in hospital. He’s been there for almost 3 weeks now. And what initially looked like a quick visit to sort out some renal issues has now turned into a far worse situation. He doesn’t know I’m there half the time. He calls me Sally (my mom’s name). He sobs a lot of the time. And it’s probably for 100 things, like missing my mom, maybe been in a lot of pain, maybe for some regrets along the way, perhaps because he thinks he could have done better.
I never felt like anything I did was good enough for him. One night, a school night I went out drinking (yes I was that teen) and when my mom fetched me from my accomplice’s house I was blotto. My mom screamed and shouted at me the entire way home, and when we stopped at robots or stop signs she would take it as an opportunity to ‘smack some sense into me’. It hurt but I didn’t kill me.
I got home, went to my room, out of reach of my mom and my dad walked in. I was expecting a lecture and a good talking to but all he said as he pulled the blinds down and drew the curtains was “I have never been so disappointed in my life”. From that moment on my sole purpose was to win my dad’s approval back. And I don’t think I ever did. I got divorced (a taboo), I adopted (more of a taboo) and I adopted two black babies (the tabooist of all taboos).
Life is precious. Life is fleeting and we’re all of a dieable age. And this has put so many things into perspective. When my dad dies I will be an orphan. I will truly be alone and I don’t know how I’m going to live with that.
It’s also put other things into perspective – don’t hold onto grudges. Don’t forgive but not forget – do both. Tell someone what they mean to you. Be real at all times. Be kind to anyone, a stranger, a friend, anyone who looks like they need a bit of kindness. Be humble. Be modest. Strive for what makes you happy and love your life with purpose.
I’ve never wanted fame but I am that point where I keep thinking this can’t be all there is to life. I need to leave a legacy behind. I need to leave a piece of me behind. I am now on a mission to figure out how what that purpose is…I hope you find yours xxx