Missing HerMy mom has been gone for more than 12 years now. It's easy to remember how long because she died 10 months before my daughter was born. We had just made a cross-country move. We stopped for a weeks visit on our way. She seemed ok, but I think she knew soMething was wrong. She was coughing in the mornings. A month and a half later, we arrived on the other coast. She called to say that she had seen a doctor, and to share the diagnosis. I flew home to spend a week. My step father picked me up at the airport. He told me about the hospice nurses visiting. I told him I wasn't ready for her to go. I hadn't had my children yet. She died just a few weeks later. I flew back for her funeral. I wrote her eulogy.
The next months were a blur. I got a job. I became pregnant. We settled into our new home with old and new friends. Our daughter was born. My neighbor told me she was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen. That meant a lot.
It's been hard. Parenting is hard. No one came to help when my baby was born. No one gave me advice. No one told me I was doing a good job or how wonderful my child was. My husband travels. I was alone.
Sometimes I have felt so angry with her for leaving me, for not helping me, for never coming to visit me.
My daughter is changing. She has already changed from a baby into a child. Now she is changing into a woman. I miss all the experiences we could have had. There is such a terrible longing for what might have been, for what is supposed to be. My children missed out on that wonderful intergenerational experience and one that one other person who would love them and know them and care about them. So much joy we could have had together. A rich life it would have been if we could all be together. Lately, my grief seems worse. For a long time, I ignored it. But it is weighing on me. It waxes and wanes, but lately, it's heavy. I wish someone would ask me about it. For friends that knew me, it's so long ago. I have a close friend whose father just passed. I'm not any better. I barely know what to say to her. How do you console someone who has lost the person who has cared for them forever? As mothers, we must keep caring for our children while missing the one who cared for us. If I could only take her for granted one more time! I wish that she would visit me in my dreams. She rarely does. Just a few times in these 12 years. But I remember her bitter sweetly in my waking.