Friday, April 24, 2020

Tips From My Mom #18

I never thought I'd be without my mom. I mean, I feared it, but never actually thought it would happen. What would life be without her? That was too much to contemplate, so I stubbornly and arrogantly ignored the thought.

And then, suddenly, it happened.

True to her fashion, she went without fuss. She slipped away quietly while lying on the couch watching television. Dad, sitting next to her in his recliner, didn't notice a stir or a gasp. When the movie they were watching ended he said, "Well, that was a good one, huh Bev?"

Mom did not answer. And from that moment on his world changed forever.

It's been 30 days without her and the loss is devastating. Yet somehow, she's with me.

The morning I learned the news I literally walked into a wall after I hung up the phone. I wandered around the quiet house from one room to another, walking up the stairs and down without direction. I was numb, in shock, full of everything and nothing. After a while, I tried to get some sleep. Tossing and turning in bed, newly scared of everything, I heard her voice in my mind. She said, "Don't be scared, baby. I am here with you. Get some rest." I felt comforted and calm. I did what she asked.

Later, there were dreams. Conversations with Ma. I asked her, "Where did you go?" In my slumber she told me, "I didn't go anywhere. I'm right here." I pushed back because I knew she went away. Although she was right in front of me I asked, "Where are you now?" She told me she was just napping, that she was tired.

My little sister, Jennifer, had a similar dream. In her dream Ma was packing to go somewhere. Jennifer anxiously asked her where she was going, why she was leaving. She told me Ma said, "I'm not leaving. I'm here."

We believe her.

All my life I've worn my mother's love like a shield against the scary things in this world. I believe she continues to love and protect us all.

Through my grieving and mourning I realize that Ma has showered me with enough love to last me the rest of my life. Even if she isn't a phone call away, she will forever be a brilliant light in my life: my mom, my best friend, my champion. Every child should be so blessed. She did so much for all of us, no wonder she was tired. And still, somehow, she continues to assure us that she's still with us. She hasn't left. Not really.

Ma, I love you.

See you in my dreams.


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