It looks like we’re having a séance in my living room. There are candles lit all over. My kids are waving their hands over the flames, watching them move. I have no idea why I’m letting my children play with fire. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m completely emotionally exhausted. I told the kids about my mom today. She has stage four cancer that has taken over. It has attacked her liver, kidneys, stomach, bladder, colon, and ovaries. She has just been hospitalized due to kidney failure and is refusing dialysis. According to those who have spoken to her, even though she isn’t expected to ever leave the hospital, she is in good spirits.
The kids took it a lot harder than I expected them to; Jillian and Chloe actually cried. I explained to them that we wouldn’t be able to see my mom because we can’t afford to travel to California right now and that I can’t call her because her hospital room doesn’t have a phone. However, when she had her cell phone, she wouldn’t answer my calls anyway so I suppose the lack of phone is a moot point. I was discussing my situation with my friends on Facebook and got some excellent advice from a childhood friend - Amanda. She suggested that I write my mom a letter so that, even though I won’t be able to say goodbye in person, I will at least be able to say the things that are on my mind and heart. And that way, at least I’ll know that I made every attempt to create the harmony and peace that I’m longing for. I wrote the letter and mailed it yesterday. I included some recent pictures of the kids and one of Wyatt so that she can see him before…
I’m not sure how to feel now. There are moments where I break down and cry, especially when the kids (very innocently of course) bring up all the thoughts that I’m trying to avoid. They have a ton of questions – why didn’t my mom love me when I was a kid; why can’t we go see her; when they have kids, will I be part of their lives; how do I feel about losing my mom… At least after I talked to them, they were able to understand why I’ve had such a short attention span lately and why I’ve been disappearing to hide with Lowell for the past few days.
Speaking of Lowell, we talked more about how I was feeling and how he didn’t understand my pain. He decided that, understood or not, the pain is real and so he’s just going to support me through it. And he has. Honey, thank you for letting my cry, for giving me permission to hurt when it doesn’t seem rational and for doing everything you can to let me get to California. I love you and all that you do for us. I love how hard you work for our family… And how hard you work to help me be the kind of mother that I want to be. And to accept myself for being an imperfect mother – but a good one nonetheless.
I wish I could go to California to see my mom again but I accept that we can’t do that right now. I’ve loved my mom forever regardless of the status of our relationship. And I will continue to love her. I’ve come to accept, or at least begin to accept, that there isn’t a single major act that I can do that will fill all the holes, right all the wrongs and solve all of our problems. There isn’t anything I can do to keep my mother from dying and nothing that can ease her pain or mine. So, I wrote a letter and I’ve left the rest in God’s hands. This has given me some peace. I continue to cry and I still hurt, and I don’t imagine that will lessen soon; it will probably get worse when I actually feel the loss... For now, I’m dealing with my pain and sharing it with my little family. And they are wonderful.
Tonight, I broke down and needed a minute to myself. Well, that lasted all of 30 seconds. Chloe came into the bedroom to bring me my Bible. That I totally appreciated. Then she gave me a piece of paper where she had written, “Mom: I love you. Mom’s mom: I love you too.” It was a simple little gesture, but showed that she understood my pain… so sweet and so mature for an 8 year old. Bless her heart, she couldn’t leave me alone; she got her own Bible and laid next to me. Next came Jillian who also had a note for me saying that she was sorry that I was sad and that she wished I could be happy. I spent some time snugging on them and then Nathan came in. Nathan wanted me to come watch a commercial on tv for a new and improved light saber. There’s no rest for the weary. I reminded myself that I am so blessed to have three children who want to spend time with me and who love me enough to try to help me through my pain. Family is God’s greatest gift after salvation. I am devastated that I’m losing the chance to have the relationship with my mom that I’ve always dreamed of, but I am increasingly thankful for the time I have with my own children. None of us is promised tomorrow and I don’t want to waste any of my days…