Six years ago today my mom passed away. She had cancer, and it was bad, and I watched her take her last breaths. I was with her for the last five months of her life (I moved back home) and that was harder to deal with than feeling her go cold. I saw her progressively get weaker and sicker even though she was of sound mind--and it was so hard to watch someone who was once so strong become helpless. She was 45 and didn't deserve to die the way she did. But that's life--it's completely random and there is no such thing as luck, or karma, or "God's will."
She was my best friend, and a fantastic mom. She was funny and smart and technologically savvy. She encouraged me, my art, and all of my choices. One of the best and most recent memories I recall on a regular basis was how proud she was when I graduated from art school. She came to my senior thesis unveiling and cried after viewing my animation.
She always stood up for me, and would do whatever it took to get me to where I needed to be. There was this one time we were sitting in a Denny's together having dinner...I should preface that I was in high school at the time and had blue hair, and the mother of an ex-friend was there and she was smirking toward us, toward me and my hair. My mom was best friends with this woman when I was close with her daughter but she got up and went to their table and told them to shut the fuck up. A more recent memory was my sophomore year of college and how she went to hell and back getting me an apartment in one day because the dorm I was supposed to stay in was a mess, and had a bed covered in vomit. The roommate I was supposed to have that year lived in that dorm room all summer and trashed it. I ended up getting my very first apartment that I loved and stayed in for two years because of my mom bending over backwards for me.
I was depressed for a few years after she died, 2008 to about 2010, but slowly started to feel normal again. Well, as normal as I could feel. Life is different now. I don't get to have a mom and do mother/daughter things. I've been on my own for so long I honestly can't comprehend the thought of her being alive. In some ways I try to find the positive in my situation and tell myself that I'm lucky I don't have to deal with her at 85 years old and watch her deteriorate in that way. I won't have to deal with nursing homes and all the baggage that comes with elderly parents. But still, 45? That was too young for her to go.
I don't believe she is looking down on me and I don't believe she's in heaven. I don't believe in any of that stuff and I am okay with it. The reality is that she was important to just me, my sister and our small extended family/friends. In the big scheme of things, just a blip on the radar. A blip amongst millions and millions of blips that live and die.
I miss her though and always will.
Here's some photos that I recently was sent from my sister. I really like, and can emotionally handle, older photos of the both of us.
These next photos are ones that I am super glad to have. When my mom was pregnant with me she painted Mickey and Minnie Mouse on my bedroom walls and I had them for my entire childhood. They were eventually painted over when I was 12 and wanted a more "grown up" room. I'm glad she had the brains to take photos of the walls before getting rid of them. She did a Little Mermaid mural in my sister's room but I don't have photos of it.