F@%k Cancer: Part 11

I don’t think people get it…

I am the person responsible for everything that happened. Me. I was the reason my mother had a plan for everything just to ensure my mental and physical safety. Every decision she ever made was for me, later for us, since the whole point of giving me a sister was so I didn’t have to do this alone. It still sucks mom! It sucks for all of us, even more so for dad who thought he’d never have to say goodbye to you, even after you became his favorite ex-girlfriend. 

I made her who she was, and Lilo finished shaping and molding her. The person she had been was enhanced by the person she had to be for her children to have every possible advantage in life. In a way, I am bound to believe the only reason our mother forgoed chemo and radiation was because she was at peace with dying. Her girls were successful, at a good place in their lives, which might facilitate the process of living without her. We were trained to perform past this moment, beyond her departure, but it wasn’t as simple as she made it seem. To be strong for her, as she had been for us, our behavior would have to be above reproach. It was prime time, live, with no do overs.

Why this? Why now?

While in her presence, I never cried a single tear, always matching her beaming smile because she deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, not with pity or as less than capable. I held my composure as she reminded me how much she loved me, how it had not been a mistake to have me and raise me on her own. I could feel my heart breaking as she slowly slipped away. Pure rage and anger fueled me throughout this journey. This shit couldn’t be happening. Ireland shouldn’t have been our last family trip, neither China 2020. Life didn’t care that this was the year of my tenth wedding anniversary, or that W and I were mid MBA. She got sick two months before my first big promotion after coming back from the layoff. She never knew I had made it this far, career wise.

I don’t think people understand how insanely twisted and convoluted the road we’ve traveled these past 5 months was and still is. My grandma’s death three weeks before my mom made it even more surreal. It was us, the family, who saw her fade away between seizures and brain metastasis. I can’t begin to tell you how f’d up this whole situation has been. Signing DNR forms and signing her up for hospice care were the biggest decisions of my short stay on this planet. Funeral arrangements be damned! Having a plan to send her off, pay debts and deal with the estate is not comforting at all. Easier, yes, but completely ridiculous. Can someone explain to me what’s the bright side of this experience? The lesson to learn?

Hindsight is 20/20…

I keep wondering who is supposed to help us get through this physically not necessarily spiritually. Who can help us fill this void? Is it even possible to fully get over this loss? All we want is to hear her voice. To answer one more phone call. As a child, I used to cry in the middle of the night, begging between sobs for my mother to return to me. She always did, but not today, not this time. I’d give anything to have her hug me one more time, kiss my head and tell me my hair smells good. (It’s the coconut.)

I wonder if she knew how much of her had come from emulating me and vice versa. I can’t do our relationship justice with words. We were a very well oiled machine. Mother empowered her daughters to serve as her teachers, counselors and spiritual gurus. People assumed we were badass because of her, but she was equally badass thanks to us and our insight. Tidbits like this one make the grieving process harder for us than most. Mom was everything. Every picture and good memory shared validation of her encouraging resilient drive and motivation. I treasure every moment with her now, more so than ever before.

We did know what we had, and we miss it terribly.

The mourning process has been merciless. It’s lonely. It’s scary. And it’s inescapable. I had never known a pain so deep, so consuming, so unnecessary. Why us? Why her? Why me? Why now? Will an answer for these questions ever be sufficient? I can almost hear her telling me it will be alright. I need to pause. To find some sort of comfort and release. It’s completely bananas. We should be on a beach somewhere healing, not worried about bills and estate madness nor answering calls from insurance companies and financial advisers. The world is a blur, days passing by 100 mph. I can’t think or concentrate. I’m frozen in place, not knowing when to walk or when to stay still.

When will this bad luck end?

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