Get Over It

She was always waiting for the Lord to return to get us all out of this messy world.

As sick as she was this past week she never said she was planning to beat him to the punch and leave before he got back to take all of us.

Knowing that we are just temporary citizens on earth changes the perspective on loss and death. The sadness and grief and tears are not that she has passed on into eternity but the thought of being separated from her in this life.

To not have that one person who knew you from the moment you were born is the pain.

To not have her demands and expectations is numbing.

She would constantly tell me how she loved my hair, that I was boring because I didn’t live with bling and watch tv, that I was amazing because I’m so sweet (though I’m not).

She found joy in her flowers, shopping for her motifs, buying people things they never wanted or needed, donating to causes she couldn’t afford. She had a servants heart and she hated with a passion being the one who needed to be helped in any way.

She prided herself on being a homeowner, having her hair styled, and refusing to use her walker or the other medical devices.

She was a widow for 38 years– exactly half her life — and she devoted herself to working and raising grandchildren.

Grief is painful and difficult and raw. She hated that people might cry over her leaving. Don’t you dare cry over me, she would say. Don’t worry about it. You can fire yourself from taking care of me. You are not obligated in anyway. She said that! As if it were possible.

A month ago I told her that she was the best mom because she had devoted her life to us but it’s hard to provide that same devotion back because we all have jobs and families and obligations and selfishness. She had just broken her arm and we were leaving on vacation so she was in the care of the home health people. She was very upset by that but ended up really liking the ladies who took care of her. I called her each day from vacation and that was unusual because I hate talking on the phone. She hated that I hate talking (on or off the phone).

She asked me recently why I used to have more time to run around with her. She forgot I work full time and have a family it seems. I told her I’ve been working full time since 1999 and maybe she’s thinking of when the kids were little and I only worked part time. She did not believe me-/

Tears are therapeutic – a cleansing –but very annoying as your eyes swell and snot runs and your head pounds.

I am not crying for her. She is rejoicing in heaven. I cry for myself and the thought of no more scenics with her. We looked at barns and farms and mountains and that perfectly round tree she exclaimed at down by the river. Our times together centered more recently on scheduling doctor appointments and going through the motions of chronic illnesses. The scenics and lunches became part of our ritual.

She took on anything I became interested in. She thought it was funny that I recently became so creative. She started seeing flowers for my petals as paint project. She bought equipment for candle making. She watched for historical info in the paper for my novel. She was always interested in whatever we were doing.

I grieve because she loved hearing stories about my work and she loved my coworkers wherever my career has taken me. When we lived in Arizona she wouldn’t come visit but she turned her whole living room decor into a desert theme/ cactus lamps and all!

When I was a child I can’t remember sitting on her lap or hugs and kisses. I don’t remember “I love you” being tossed about. Maybe she was too busy with five kids. But the last few years she always wanted hugs (I know, right?? All those hugs she despised from everyone else I think she secretly loved) and kisses goodbye. Recently as we went through a deep mental health crisis with my son she begged to have me sit in her lap so she could hold me and rock me in her chair. That wasn’t possible but I appreciated the idea. And she constantly said I love you.

I am not sad that she is in heaven. I am sad that it’s all over, relieved she suffers no more, and thankful for such a devoted mom. So my tears flow and my heart breaks and she would say “get over it. I’m fine.”

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