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Archive for January, 2015

You never get over the loss of a Mother

January 22, 2015 Leave a comment

momMy mom was a very brave woman. I can’t hold a candle to her and the obstacles that she endured and overcame in her life.

My mom became an orphan at a very young age and was put into a “home” (I think orphanage) with her two older sisters. If I recall, her older brother went to live with relatives (although after all these years, it is possible that I remember the story wrong).

Mom went to Nursing school, and she married my dad (My mom’s older sister Sarah’s husband Ed worked with the man who became her husband). After 14 years of trying to have children, they found that they were unable to conceive. They decided to adopt. Sarah knew a young woman who was pregnant (my biological mother), and a private adoption was arranged. As it turned out, my mother was able to get pregnant, and my brother was born before I was two years old.

When I was a young child, my mom developed Breast Cancer. She had a mastectomy. Not long after, she developed Breast Cancer in her remaining breast and again had a mastectomy. My mother developed cancer a third time and was forced to have a hysterectomy. She fought hard to become healthy, and lived quite a few healthy years.

In 1986 my parents retired to Florida, and only a few years later my mother developed more health issues. She had a seizure in a supermarket, and it was determined that she had a brain tumor, and she had fractured a vertebrae in her spine. She had surgery for the broken vertebrae and with the help of titanium rods, she was able to get around again. However, the brain tumor was worrisome. She did have an operation to remove it, but ultimately it came back. Radiation treatments helped but in the end, after a 10 year battle, my mother succumbed to Cancer of the Brain. It was an ugly illness. It left her unable to speak, see, hear, or move. Hospice was needed for the last few weeks of a life that was cut short by cancer.

Through everything that she battled in her life, I never once remember hearing her complain. I am sure she had struggles that I never knew. The last ten years of her life were difficult, but she endured it with grace and dignity.

I was 37 when she died. I’m going to be 52, It’s been 15 years since my mom passed away. Sometimes the timeline seems right, but other times I have a hard time believing she has been gone for such a long period of time.

I miss her. I can’t remember a day when I did not think of her. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day with that amazing woman I called MOM!!

RIP Mommy ; January 23, 1926 – January 22, 1990

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Widowhood: Has Two years REALLY passed?

January 15, 2015 Leave a comment

widowI have been pretty absent this past year, haven’t I? I used to love to write posts in this blog. It hasn’t really felt right in the past year. In the beginning this blog was about my life with Mark and our struggles with his kidney disease issues. Then he passed away, and it was my struggles as a newly widowed 49 year old woman.

Now I don’t have the dialysis stories, nor do I have the stories about widowhood. Sure, I am still a widow, but the pain that I initially felt when Mark passed away has lessened significantly. I still think of him often, but thinking of him is no longer associated with a deep, agonizing pain.

I can still remember that night. January 17, 2013. Two years ago. I can remember calling 911. I can remember the police and ambulances in front of my home. I remember my neighbor Adam coming over to see if he could help. I can remember talking to the Emergency Room doctor. I can remember when they pronounced Mark’s time of death. I can remember talking to the social worker. I can remember when I said goodbye to the the man that I loved. I can remember my two absolutely wonderful friends who came to the hospital and stayed with me. And I don’t know what I would have done without my brother Jeff who has ALWAYS been my rock throughout the years. I reconnected with a few friends in my time of mourning, and I still see them today.

When Mark first passed away, I was in shock. Then the sadness and pain hit, and I did nothing but cry for weeks. Months. One day I realized that Mark would want me to get my act together and stop wallowing in sadness. I did just that. I found a new place to live. I downsized and “merged and purged” all the material things I had in my home. Again I have to ask myself, was it necessary for me to have three food processors? I put my financial house in order, and I took drastic steps to put my life back together. I found a new love, and I have tried new things that I have always wanted to do.

Today I find myself approaching the two year anniversary of Mark’s passing.

soulfoodI miss his very unique sense of humor. I miss his laugh. I miss his cooking. I miss collard greens, southern fried chicken, Okra soup, Soul Food, homemade mac and cheese, southern style BBQ beef short ribs, and fried varieties of fish. I miss entertaining with seven course meals that would leave our guests stuffed and amazed that he could cook like he did.

I miss going to Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturday mornings and getting coffee and a glazed donut, and sitting by the waterfront watching the boats and watercraft. Going alone is just not the same.

I missed seeing the Christmas decorations. We used to drive around neighborhoods and look at the decorations. He always loved Christmas. He loved when I decorated the house. It was never really my thing, but I did it because he liked it so much.

I miss the silly, stupid inside jokes that we had. I miss playing “Old or idiot” when we would drive around. I miss the stories about his students at school and the corruption that went on in the district.

I miss how he would do impressions of various people and accents. He used to make me (and everyone else) crack up.

I miss the places we went together over the years. And it is often bittersweet when I drive by them.

MeandDoo714When I look at my sweet and lovable Belle, I remember that it was Mark who bought her for me. He did his research and found me the perfect furbaby. If not for him, I would have never gotten Belle. He was not a dog person at all, but he knew how much I wanted a furry friend. After Mark passed away, Belle became even more special than she already was. She helped me through so much in those first few months. She didn’t come away unscathed though. For months she would sit and wait for Mark to come through the door at night. And my non-shedding dog became a shedder; in all likelihood from the trauma and stress.

When anniversaries such as 9/11, Hurricanes (Katrina, Irene and Sandy) or a famous person who passed are mentioned, I think of Mark. After all, we dealt with those tragedies together. We lived them together, and we healed together. We were on a cruise when Katrina barreled through the Gulf. We both felt guilty and saddened. That was the very last vacation that I took so it has definite bittersweet memories.

Now in the wake of finding out that my boss will be retiring and selling his practice, I find myself in a whole different scary position. I could not only be without a job but without health insurance as well. Being married to Mark was a security blanket. He had a good income, and I could have been unemployed for a while, and he would have found a way to carry me financially. He also had TERRIFIC health insurance. He would have allowed me time to “wind down” before I looked for new employment. Now I don’t have that luxury. Now it is ME supporting me.

I wouldn’t give up my life and independence to trade it for “what was”. I can’t go back in time. I only look back in time so I can see how far I have come. Losing Mark was NOT something I ever wanted or asked for, but it is what it is. I am looking toward the future, but definitely enjoying my PRESENT.

I remember those that I have lost in my life. That includes those who have passed away or simply walked away. Everything happens for a reason. I don’t know what the reasons are. I used to think I wanted to know. Now I am sure that I don’t. The bottom line is that it happened, and I reacted and then I acted.

BandG714I am happy with the actions that I took to change my life. I really am happy with my life now. It is simple. It is fun. It is filled with happiness and love. What I have now is what I have searched for all my life: love, independence, family, security, and friendships that run deeper than words can express. That is something that I have wanted forever. Belle has a new Daddy. And I have a new love in my life. Actually it’s not “new” any longer. This new “family” has been thriving for over a year and a half. I’m happy. Belle is happy. And George says he is happy. We are planning a new future. This is a new chapter in the “Book of Bon”. There will be other chapters to follow. And I am looking forward to it.