Saturday, October 08, 2005

Traffic Light Reflection

This afternoon I was sitting at the traffic light southbound on Rainbow Boulevard at 43rd Avenue (in a car, obviously... not just sitting there) thinking about... I don't know, whatever I think about, which many friends and other people required to spend time with me might argue is EVERYTHING...

I've lost my train. Oh, there it is.

I was sitting there thinking and waiting for the light to change, when I had a thinking fit, of sorts.

I was remembering that last time I ever saw Mom, which is to say the last time I ever will see her (in this world, anyway... I haven't ruled out an afterlife, I'm just not totally sold on it). I flashed onto that moment where I leaned down and told her it was okay if she needed to go, we understood.

I thought, "What a stupid person I was."

Because this other part of me, this huge and loud part of me--which was apparently sleeping these last few years, after Mom went into the nursing home, and I knew it was just going to be a rerun of Grandma's time at those nursing homes--this part of me feels that it wasn't okay. It feels as if some part of me is gone now because she's gone. I don't know what I believe about anything, but I'm starting to believe some part of what little joy I carried around with me was there because she was alive. Sorta like she was a life support system for a chunk of my joy.

I know, that's stupid and superstitious and more like crazy talk than real talk. Or real sane talk, anyway.

Of course, barring some crazy miracle, what else could I have wanted for her? My hope is that wherever she is now, she's reconnected with all of her mind. That's my hope anyway.

Jeez, talk about "I'm crying as I type."

Anyway, at the stop light I realized that part of me isn't happy with me for saying that, even though other parts of me (and people who have posted comments here agree) thought it was the right thing to do.

I'm sorry I didn't hold her hand. I'm sorry I didn't work harder to figure out if Dane wanted to kiss her or not.

I've been missing Mom for a while now, and for most of that time I thought I was just doing a drawn-out grieving thing. Apparently it was an "ignore it and it will go away" thing.

Time to pay the piper.

And I feel weird that I have a hard time talking to my friends about stuff. I feel weird that I'm talking to a minister of a church I don't go to. It helped to talk with him, and I plan to talk to him again, but does it say something about me that I'm not having this conversation with friends? It must, because I'm not having this conversation with friends because I don't know how... or that I can.

Blah blah blah, me me me. How's everyone else doing?

I'm going to end this blahfest with that happy piece of news. The Wilders won the Pitch's "Best of Kansas City" award in the country music category. Go over to their blog at and congratulate 'em!


Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who you are talking to, just keep talking. In times of personal tragedy, an objective third party is often easier to verbally and emotionally divulge to than a close friend. An as far as what that says about you, it merely says you are human, with needs, wants, desires and pain, like the rest of us. I say with confidence, you are loved in abundance and unconditionally by your friends, as I am one of them, and we support you in whatever or however you deal with the loss of your mother.

Peggy Wooden said...

Mark, I know we don't really know each other, but I sure do identify with what you're feeling right now, after having just recently lost both of my parents.

When Daddy was going through the dying process, I talked effusively with a kind Hospice chaplain--poured my heart out completely--, and it helped. Guess I figured he was paid to sit there and take it, and I hated to burden the rest of the family with my feelings. I don't even know what religion he represented, but he seemed to be totally understanding and tolerant of my dad's and my unorthodox beliefs.

My mom died in a nursing home, while I was staying at a rehab unit with my dad. I didn't even get to be with her at all the week before her death. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's for nearly ten years, and didn't know me. Still, I miss her so much! Only now--over a year later--can I think of the happy times instead of feeling so awful that I wasn't with her that last week.

Sorry to use your blog with my own personal story. But I just wanted you to know your story touches my heart. I, too, have just spaced out and cried from time to time. Wonder if it ever goes away...

Please don't stop thinking and talking and writing about your feelings. I believe there's healing in that.