Three years ago today I was nearing the end of my second semester of Nursing school. Three years ago today I was studying more than I ever had before in the hopes of somehow pulling a “B” for the semester. Three years ago today at around 10:15 pm I was sitting in my bed reading over my lecture notes when my phone rang. I remember being annoyed that anyone would call me at such a “late hour” because they knew I had a 15 month old and they knew I would either be studying or sleeping. I can remember looking at the caller ID three years ago today to discover it was my Mom calling me. Of course, I thought, she would be the only one so self absorbed to think that 10:15 pm on a Thursday is an acceptable conversation time (not a very respectful thought but I am being real here).
The conversation was a quick one. She was rambling and (I thought) probably stoned. I was annoyed and definitely short. I felt guilty about 30 minutes later and called her back but it went to voicemail. I had no way to know that three years ago today would be the last time I ever spoke to my Mom. Our relationship at that time was tense to say the least about it. I did not agree with the choices that she had been making and she did not appreciate my judgment/condemnation of her for making those choices.
Three years ago tomorrow I would answer another phone call, this time from my baby (16 year old) sister who was calling to inform me that our mother had passed away from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Even typing those words out now is astonishing to me because I never in a million years will understand how my Mom, my brave, strong, fearless, unstoppable Mom came to a place where she was so helpless and hopeless that she believed in her head and heart that suicide was the best choice. That’s not entirely true because the person my Mom had become was not the Mom that I knew as a girl. The Mom who died three years ago tomorrow had dug herself into a hole so deep that nobody knew how she was going to get out. She was too stubborn and head strong to admit she had any problems or seek help for those problems. I would be lying if I didn’t say that in a way I expected that call to come from my sister. Throughout the weeks leading up to that moment, I could see on my Mom’s face and hear in her voice how desperate and sad and alone she felt and I also knew that there was not a thing anyone could do to help her because she wouldn’t let them help her.
I’ve missed my Mom more this past year than ever before probably because John Brooks is starting to understand and ask questions about why my Mom is not in his family equation. I have wished she was here more than ever before especially when we were going through everything surrounding Bo’s birth. Even though I know I am so beyond blessed to have such wonderful family support, the birth and sickness of a baby is something you want your Mom to be there to experience with you. Again, if I am being honest I have to admit that if she was still around at this point there is a good chance she still wouldn’t have been in a place to be involved in the early days of my son’s life because of the demons she was battling. I miss her more now that I am a Mom and I am coming to terms with the fact that she is going to miss out on every single milestone of my kids lives but she may have missed out on them anyway had she been alive. Milestones that my grandmother (her Mom) has always been around for in my life. Milestones that I never thought my Mom would miss.
I rarely talk about my Mom’s death because I don’t see how the subject provides joy or helps others in any way. I’m sorry to be such a “Debbie Downer” today but as this is my creative outlet and these are the feelings I’ve been having so I thought it important to put them into print as a way to remember the day.