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Updates - The Simple and Not So Simple Truths

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The simple truth - my mother died on September 23rd.

The not-so-simple truth - my mother died on September 23rd. After a six day hospitalization. I stayed with her in her room. She was at peace and ready to go. Every day the staff would say today's the day... I used to get frustrated 'moving at the speed of Grandma' while shopping - well, she even died 'at the speed of Grandma". That is somehow right. Had some regrets about things not done with her, but I also figured even if we'd done those things, I'd regret something else. In a middle part of the process, she was reliving her teaching days, she wasn't aware of who exactly we were, but if we pretended to be her students, she responded as the teacher. We had some fun with that, wondered if it was okay to do so. But figured we were respecting where in her journey she was, and figured we needed to laugh a little. Had a reconciliation of sorts with my brother - I won't forget the past, but am trying to let go, move on. We honored her wishes to do one last act of teaching - she wanted her body donated to the University of Wisconsin for teaching purposes. And when we get her remains back in a year or two, we will spread her ashes where she wished.

Mother and I had a complex relationship over the years - I even chose to cut off contact for a couple of years a while back. I spent much of my later childhood years trying to take care of my mother emotionally. I then went to college and grad school for social work, worked in the public schools for two years. Shock of all shocks - my core issue in life is feeling like I don't matter, that I am not important. When my mother moved back to the midwest, I eventually fulfilled the role of dutiful oldest child. While I was very drained at times, I never wished my mother gone. I am glad she was at peace and her wishes are being honored.

About a month ago, I found out my 19 YO daughter had been date-raped over the summer while at college. That was a different sort of shock. My mom radar picked up on something she said, and I asked if she had been attacked. She didn't want me to know because she was trying to protect me. SHE was trying to protect ME. Maybe having me around for the immediate aftermath might've made it more difficult? She has fantastic support by her university and her friends, thankfully. She's had a very rough couple of years, and hasn't handled a lot of that well. I mention this because she actually seems to be doing okay. I got to visit her, felt better after that.

I debated about sharing the news about DD here. Would it somehow overshadow the passing of my mother? Would that be wrong? DD is okay with the news being shared, but I've been very limited about who I tell, figuring it is her news to share. I am sharing here because it is part of the reality of my last couple of months. And I never expected to be the parent of a victim of anything. And because while I know rape happens 'often', she is the first person close to me that I know to have been raped.

Where am I now? Lonely. Drained. So much of my life over the last few years has been being a daughter, a parent and working outside the home. Now, my mother has died. My DD is almost 20 and is away at college. My DS just turned 14, and relates so much more to his father (which is fine). I am an introvert, so my non-work pursuits are solitary. I like quiet. But I am also lonely. That is a huge challenge for me, especially in this crazy busy retail season, especially in the winter. I've been making some efforts, have plans for more. Found out about a craft store that has open workshop nights on Fridays - I can join in, be around other people and make cards - even found out I can give away the cards to various good causes.

What about self care? Well, I did well in October with some monthly goals that helped me focus. Realized that sleep is THE KEY to self care for me. I need 8.5- 9 hours (yikes) - challenging to do with DH getting home 6:30-7 and me often needing to get up at 4am to go to work. Lost focus on the goals sometime this month. Partly I think because it was another solitary pursuit. Not sure where or how to build in accountability. Recently I remembered that things were getting better for me when I was working on my emotional and mental issues by doing the chapters in the !00 Day Weight Loss (100DWL) book by Linda Spangle. So, I am going to start that again.

I still can't run - I really really miss it. Will go back to PA/Doc after the end of the year.

Got a new light therapy light.

Thanksgiving was THE holiday that we spent with Mother. That will be tough, I expect. We are now going to my in-laws. I am not close to them, yet I am glad I can go there before I go into work Thursday. I am glad I can be with DD especially, and that she can be with her other grandparents and her other family. And in a weird sort of way, I am glad I work so much this weekend.

It hit me sort of hard that this next birthday (in January) will be the first one my mother is not around for. And it is a milestone one. I can just imagine she would've said that she can't believe she has a 50 YO child, with a 2nd one by the end of the year. Whether we've been close or not, my mother has always theoretically been at least physically present or available on my birthday.

Guess I better post this and start resuming using Spark for more than just tracking. I welcome comments and team recommendations. Thank you for reading.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BA5454
    So sorry for your loss, both with your mom and the news about your DD. Like you I have had a conflicted relationship with my mother--gosh, it's hard sometimes! Hope you find a balance between being introverted and loneliness this holiday season--glad you found the craft store! Sending you some good vibes--take care ;-). emoticon emoticon
    1610 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    1611 days ago
    I am so glad that you took the time to share this with us all here. Firstly, I can SO relate to your feelings of loneliness - it came up for me big time when I went through the 100 Days book recently. I am going to start the book again on 1st January along with Susan, Beth, Barbara, Cat, Martha - please come and join me - and blog every day with us all.

    Like many of the others have said, I still miss my mother even though our relationship wasn't always 'close'. Once we get past about 50, the generation before us begin to depart one by one.......... I'm 60 this week, and that's bringing up loads of difficult feelings for me!

    I cannot begin to imagine how you feel about learning that your daughter has been subjected to date rape.

    I know what you say when you talk about being glad you are working during the holiday season......immersing ourselves in work is one way to block everything else out! And what you say about feeling you are not important - that resonates with me too. I am the oldest child in our family too.

    Like someone else said - take all the love that comes your way - and keep updating and sharing on here. Spark People is very important for people like you and me.

    I'll be looking in on you every day - much love to you x
    1611 days ago
    Losing a parent is never simple. I remember saying to my mother after dad died that no matter how long she lived, when she was gone I would be an orphan. She said she felt the same way her mother died. Regardless of the quality of your relationship, she was a constant in your life. She was an anchor in a way because she was a constant. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Keep pushing towards a healthy lifestyle! I think going back to "100 Days" is a great idea. So is attending craft classes. If you spend more time around people you'll find a few "best friends" and that will make things better. emoticon

    Thanks for friending me!
    1611 days ago
    I am so sorry for your loss and for the pain your daughter endured.

    You aren't alone here on Spark -- please do blog more often and share updates! I always appreciate it when you 'like' or comment on mine, and I promise to do the same for you.

    Take any love coming your way -- even if it is from the in-laws this holiday. ;-)

    Take care, and lots of hugs from down here! emoticon

    1611 days ago
  • GINGKO711
    So sorry for your loss.
    1611 days ago
    I am sorry about the passing of your mom and so sorry about your DD. emoticon I hope you go to some of those workshops where you can make outside connections for you. Sending hugs and prayers. emoticon emoticon
    1611 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, I could relate to many things you said. I am sorry to hear about your mother's passing. My mother died in 2000 from cancer. She too requested to be donated to help others. Hers was cancer research. That was her motto...who can I help? Thank you for posting and giving me an opportunity to think of my mom today. My prayers will be with you during this holiday season. emoticon
    1611 days ago
    So sorry for your loss and may grace find your daughter. I had a very complicated relationship with my mother (including DCFS being called). I can relate. While the holidays are hard, you can get through this. Working retail helps. (did that while in college, after my mom passed away (I was 22). But I promise it does get easier. Never easy, but easier. Take deep breaths, make sure you are giving yourself time and space to grieve, and be gentle with yourself. Prayers to you and your family in this difficult time.
    1611 days ago
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