Today would have been my mothers 57th birthday. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly when I was just 17, a few days after Mother's Day and my junior prom. I remember I made her a card with my new cool program on my computer, and she loved it. I also got her a pound of the really nice coffee from the mall, flavored like hazelnuts. That was her favorite. It was quite a gift since I thought $20 was a BUNCH of money back then.
Well, about a week later she was gone.
I always remember the dates. Currently I cant ever remember the day it is or what year anything happened (how do people do that?)... but these I remember.
May 4th- prom. She taught me how to make my corsage and boutonniere out of the orchids we picked out at the florist and the ribbons at the craft store.
May 12th- Mothers Day. Deliver card, hugs.
Somewhere in between here she was my guest at a banquet at school, some honors thing for good grades. She met my favorite teacher, Mrs. Banks.
May 18th- she was gone. I found out the next day.
The last time I spoke to her I called her to ask her why it hurt when I breathed. She said it was costochondritis and explained what that meant (ironically that was our first case in medical school). She told me what to do about it and then we said our I Love You's and Goodbyes. Im so happy that was the last thing I said to her.
How do you process that? What do you do? One of the worst things possible happens and you think you'll just die... but you dont. You're still there. Alternating between feeling numb and then feeling so out of control with sadness that you wish you were numb again. Cycles like that where the numb interval just keeps getting longer and longer until you are only sad about it maybe twice a year.
She taught me lots of things via her actions. Things to do and things not to do. How, if one day I have kids, I will have a template to work with. I will always sing "You are my sunshine" and "Jelly bean" to them. I will totally embarrass them via karaoke at their slumber parties, right after I make cookies. I will always say no with a question instead of just saying no. But what do you do with a teenager? Or a baby? How are you supposed to bridge the gap from child to adult to autonomous adult, as a mother? I never did get to see that part.
There are a few people that I would really have liked for her to meet. Maybe these people would see that my goofiness is from her. My love of medicine is from her. My cheekbones are from her. My need to caretake is from her. My craftiness is from her. How many other things are from her? Lots are from my dad too, and some are just mine. Novel little personality things that aren't from my parents but that are just me. But the rest, I would have liked to know the rest.
I still dont talk about it with people, because it makes me sad. Im still processing sometimes.