Mixed Bouquets

16 Aug

I spend my days trying to not think about my mother.

Somedays this works. Other days, I’m full of her, in the grocery store, reading the signs that state “Brighten your day! Mixed Bouquets, 9.99!” She worked in a flower shop, despite having an allergy to certain flowers. I see her in the faces in the homemaker magazines, in jars of food, in the lady ahead of me who cannot stand for long, and must sit, despite her youth. I remember her sad silences that grew with each year, and that final look in her eyes that only terminal disease can bestow.

I cannot be rid of her memory, and it hangs like a stink somedays, rendering me blind, and helpless. I have more memories of sickness than of health.

I spend my nights wondering how to defeat her memory, how to move past her, and into myself. I see my daughter already trying to protect me, and I ache with a nameless pain, or rather, an old, forgotten one.

I see in her eyes my own eyes as a child. I see the fear, I see the pain, I see the desperation of wanting to make things better and being terribly unable to. I see what I have lost, and I become angry with the sadness and the unfairness of it all. I want her back, and I want my childhood back.I shouldn’t of had to lose my mother, and I shouldn’t have had to take care of her-shouldn’t couldcouldn’t wouldn’t-all these things tumble down into one pile of grief I can’t ever seem to get to the bottom of, a pool I cannot drain.

I can’t help but think of her lately. I can’t help but think of me, me who lived so long ago, who I lost forever on a rainy April day. Or maybe not on that one day, but slowly, over days and weeks of, helping my mother with her boots and watching out for puddles, of being her support. I can’t help but think of the absolute pain and horror that the thought of dying and leaving your children brings me, and must have brought her. Motherloss may have crippled me, but I can’t stop thinking of how much my mother must have cried out in pain knowing she was leaving her babies, her children. And lately, I seethe with this pain, this fear of it.

I woke up one morning and realized, REALLY realized, what her loss really means, what sacrifice really is. And when I see my own daughter trying to protect me in her own little way, I can’t handle it. I see the lost little girl I was, and I swear my daughters will not be her too. I want to hold them tight and never let anything hurt them, never let them be lonely or cold, or scared, or crying alone for hours in their bedrooms, watched only by Corey Haim and Christian Slater on the wall.

I spend my days worried that the worst might happen, and during times like lately, when I’m already saddened by life regardless, it sticks like thorns in my hair.

And I still see her everywhere.

One Response to “Mixed Bouquets”

  1. Tatess November 23, 2006 at 9:15 pm #

    I too see my mother constantly. She has left me now and I take it personaly. My grief has become my personality. She is gone now 1 month from lung cancer. What good did it do for me to have to have the horrible memories associated with the end of her. They shadow all the good ones. She suffered so,and now so do I. I know what you are feeling is pure hell on earth,and I understand you are paralized with fear. I just pray that this struggle makes us both stronger someday………Sharon

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