It's funny how quickly life can change. You hear this all the time. In a song, in a poem, in a prayer. It is never more true than when it applies to you, your life and your family. Sure, you feel bad for the neighbor who's child got lice. You feel bad that your friend got a crappy diagnosis. But at the end of the day, it's NOT you.
So off we rush. Back to my hometown in a race against the clock. Fear gripping my heart but not willing to face reality if reality will really go there.
I remember a mad-dash to pack clothes. "Are you packing funeral clothes?" "How can we not?" I replied. The doctor said 24 hours, 50/50 chance. GET THERE. JUST GO. GET IN THE CAR AND GO. (my sister screamed) It was the longest ride of my life.
My sister had a freaking plane ride to get to us. To get to mom. My precious wonderful mother who was clinging to life. Waiting, waiting for us to touch her skin and stroke her hair and whisper in her ear that we were there. We are here Mom!
And just like that life is turned upside down. Twenty four hours later and something changes inside your brain and your heart. I feel weak. I feel angry. Raging-throw heavy shit through the windows-rage.
After working our asses off for a week cleaning the house out, we went for a spa day before leaving town. My mom would have been delighted with the idea. Sixty plus years living in one house and we emptied it out in one week. Life is funny like that. How can it be possible?
My hands were cracked and chapped and my nails were broken down to tender flesh. My sister, Aunt and I were on auto-pilot. One of us would break and the other would remain strong. I was yet to enter the real world of what life feels like when you are 41 years old and both your parents are gone.
How will it feel to come back to this town and not turn down "Grandma's road"? How will anything feel now? I was 31 when Dad died. It was devastating, but I still had Mom. I still had her to cling to. My sister and I are clinging to each other. Nobody will ever get it like she does.
So I get up every morning and get out of bed. Pack the lunch and snack and walk to the bus stop. I hug the kids and kiss them and love them. I do laundry. I unload the dishwasher. I push myself to run up the hill. I force myself to keep running. I force myself to just keep going. What choice do we have?
I want to escape.
I'm on a roller coaster ride of feeling love and hate like never before. Mostly, I'm faking it until I make it.
On Friday night I spotted the full moon. What mom referred to as "Cosmo's Moon" (from our favorite movie Moonstruck) and I thought that perhaps Mom and Dad are together again. Looking down. But times like these make you question everything.