Someone I used to work with posted a FB status about how she couldn't believe 3 months had passed since her father had passed away and before I knew it, I had commented that it doesn't get easier but it gets more bearable. I don't know if I was sharing my experience, wisdom, or just basically saying, "Yes, I have a dead parent too. Join the club, kid." It could have been a combination of a little of each, I am not entirely sure. All I know is that it is swiftly coming up on the 3 year anniversary of my mom's death and in fact, it has gotten more bearable.
It took my doctor to point out to me a pattern I had. Every January/February I would go to him complaining of headaches that wouldn't seem to happen any other time in the year. He would talk me out of MRIs and after a week or two they would go away. Since that is the time when mom was first diagnosed with a brain tumor, he suggested this was mostly a psycho-somatic thing. This year the head aches came a little later, early March, and lasted maybe a week before going on their merry way.
As the kids grow, I miss my mom more. I wish she could see them and interact with them as they are now. My daughter wasn't even walking when mom died, and now she is this little spitfire chock full of personality and love. I swear the kid is the biggest snugly love bug around, always wanting to snuggle and hug. I can envision my son reading out loud, as he loves to do, and my mom patiently being interested in the stories.
I miss being able to go to her for advice. I have so many things I would love to seek her insight on and at times, I feel bereft with only internet searches and blog lurking to guide my way.
I am, however, getting a lot better about not being bitter. For the longest time I would be bitter and jealous of friends and strangers alike who still had active mothers. For many having the parents take the kids for a weekend or even a night is a routine, for me it is an impossible fantasy. It ranks with winning the lottery in the realm of possibility.
I had coffee with a friend I don't see too often one recent night. This woman, I have to admit, is not a close friend and I have, at times, thought of her more as a frenemy because of some of the things she has said to me in the past. But, there we were and she was telling me about how her mother was going to take care of her toddler son and newborn baby so she could go on a weekend trip. She also mentioned how upset she was because her grandmother, whom she is very close to, was starting to exhibit signs of aging and forgetfulness at the ripe old age of 85. Her eyes welled with tears as she said she doesn't know what will happen when her grandmother dies because she loves her so much.
Mind you, there is a decent part of me who understands how hard it is to watch someone you love and who you are close with deteriorate and the sense or mortality that provides. This part of me was the sensitive one who touched her hand and said all the right comforting things. I am ashamed to say there was a lesser part of me who wanted to laugh spitefully in her face and say things like, "Poor you with the house your daddy bought you and your cool active mom who takes care of you and your kids and your grandmother who seems to be doing A-ok up to now when my only real pleasant memory of my own grandmother is her telling me I was the worst dancer at my 8 year old dance recital."
Sheesh, part of me is a real bitch. (Insert B, "Only Part?")
In a week we are traveling to Vegas Baby to see the relatives. B's parents now live there in a group home near B's sister and my mother's two brothers and their families live there as well. One of my aunt/uncle pairings is super awesome with my kids. They had stepped into a grandparent role with them and we will be staying with them. Tonight on the phone they offered to babysit one night so B and I could go see a movie or something. We are going to take them up on it!
Since our trip revolves around family, and we are staying with my aunt/uncle, we decided to splurge one day and rented a cabana at the Mandalay Bay casino pool area. It is crazy expensive but we are going to spend the whole day there pretending we are somewhere super exotic and drink colorful fruity drinks poolside and swim in their variety of pools, taking breaks to lounge in our cabana in front of the TV. The kids are besides themselves excited.
During the trip, I will be seeing my own grandmother. She is in her 90s now and her mind is mostly gone and she has no idea her daughter is dead and has been lo these past 3 years. I don't know how that will go but I figure I owe it to my mom to visit her mom.
But while we are there, I might as well toss a quarter in a slot machine somewhere and see about winning some money. Who knows, stranger things have happened. Maybe 3 will be my lucky number.