Author Archives: acespeach

About acespeach

I am 36 yrs old. Married for 18 yrs, have an almost 16 yr old son. And learning to navigate through the journey of losing my mother.

6 months

6 months ago mom left this life. It didn’t hit me until just a little bit ago, but I guess I knew deep down that today was 6 months because I have been in a deep depression all day. Yesterday was 4th of July. Yesterday I guess I just didn’t think about what the next day was. I’ve been trying to live life about as normal as I can. But there has been something missing. And its been mom. Mom knew what I needed before I knew. But, that was mom. I still go in expecting to see her in her chair, or on the road I still want to call and say hi and tell her where we’re at. I call dad, but its not the same.

Mom taught me a lot. But she never told me how to live without her. About 12 years ago, we lived in Arizona for 6 months. I called her just about every day. But, not seeing her is nothing compared to not being able to talk to her. To get the mom mom advise. To get the shoulder to cry on when I worry about things. Like now..I wish I could cry on her shoulder and hear her tell me its going to be ok.

I know now the next 6 months are going to be rough. Mom and dad’s anniversary and thanksgiving. That was her favourite holiday. They didn’t do Christmas so I don’t have to worry about that, but it was Christmas eve that mom took her final turn for the worst. Then we have the anniversary of her death. What makes it even harder, we don’t even have a headstone for her. I don’t even think dad has looked it called around.

Things I know will he ok. But trying to convince myself of that is a completely different story. I’ve had to fake it till I make it some days. I guess today just isn’t isn’t one if those days.

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Life’s Lemons

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade or at least that’s what they say. Needless to say, I was at the point where I was going to start asking for limes and tequila instead. Reason I say that is because since we got our business going again, it’s been one thing after another and another. We had a trip to Utah and by the time we got home, the truck was barely kicking. Long story short, about $1500 later, new fuel pump and fuel tank we got running again. Then we head up to Ohio then Maine and what do you know, just south of Buffalo, NY we break totally down. Exact spot we break down.. interstate 90, exit 55 in West Seneca, NY. Mother’s Day of all days too. I was going to have a lobster dinner for mother’s day in Maine. Long story short, 2 blown head gaskets and both heads are cracked along with a bad injector, $7000 and 8 days in a hotel later, we were up and rolling.

But, in that week we were stuck, I did a lot of thinking (and cross stitch) about my life since mom passed. I also did a lot of sleeping too. Being at the hotel was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had zero stresses to worry about. No teenager (although I really did miss him), no dogs (yes I missed them too), no having to worry about cleaning, no nothing. I have been really running on fumes for I don’t know how long. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically drained and I didn’t realize it.

I told myself that after mom passed, I was going to hide in a hotel and recover. I didn’t then because I was afraid to be alone with my thoughts. And we didn’t have the funds. But, I guess better late than never. But, I really hate the reason I got my down time.

But, in the down time I healed mentally and emotionally more than I ever thought possible. I have rediscovered some passions I hadn’t thought about in years. Yes, I do cross stitch, but I fell in love with it again. But my biggest one, geneology. I first got interested in it when I was a kid. My dad’s aunt and uncle did it, and traced our family back to the 1600s and I have a hand written family tree done by him. I have one regret when it comes to mom, I didn’t really get into her side of the family because, well who knows. Now of course, I have questions. I resigned up with ancestry.com and findagrave.com to get answers. Then with find a grave, you can sign up to take pictures of headstones for research. That brings in my photography.

I haven’t been able to really do the last couple of things in a while. Maybe being stuck is something I really needed. My lemons was the truck breaking down. Lemonade was really focusing on me again.

Change is hard, especially when you have been in autopilot for years. I felt guilty for doing stuff for me when mom was sick. Especially in the end. Even after she passed, I have had a hard time with doing for me again. Mom is probably saying it’s about time. And it is.

Being broke down away from home, away from my son on mother’s day was horrible. But, taking that day to really morn my mom, the end of my caregiver life, it opened up a part of me that had been shut for a while.

I end with this. When something bad happens, take a moment to say what can I learn from this, not why me. I learned that the hard way.

Motherless Mother’s Day

It’s been a hard day. We’re on the road and our truck decided to break down in Buffalo, NY. We were supposed to be in Maine celebrating another drop off and Mother’s Day. But, instead we’re here in Buffalo in a hotel room and I have had to deal with emotions. I have cried, I have tried to relax. But, it’s not enough to drown out the thoughts of mom not being here for Mother’s Day.

I know I will always have a mother. She gave birth to me, took care of me, was my mentor, my confidant, my best friend. But I can’t call her and say “let’s go eat and then shopping”. That was our thing. My mom, my son and I had that as our tradition. I’m motherless because she’s not physically here.

Mom left me a sign today that I was needing to see. A white feather next to the truck. I had a huge sense of calm when I saw it. Mom being gone has just been getting more and more real. Today just made it a slap in the face reminding me she’s really not here. Then seeing everyone who does have their mom and their celebrations made me so sad.

I will celebrate Mother’s Day when we get back home with our son. And in all honesty, I don’t need to have a day set aside to celebrate my mom, or me being a mom. My son is my reason to breathe and even if we butt heads, he is my world.

To all of us who have lost their mom, our moms are always with us. We just have to look a little closer to the little things that they may be trying to show us that they are here.

Guilt and Anger

Reality of my mom passing is hitting like a ton of bricks with Mother’s Day coming in a few days. You may ask why do I feel guilty about things, well it’s simple. It’s part of grief. Along with anger, and rinse and repeat.

I had a dream a few weeks ago about mom. And it was more of a nightmare. I dreamed that she came back and yelled at me for letting her die. I have had several people tell me that it’s me feeling guilty. Yes, I do and it’s because I don’t feel like I spent enough time with her. She always wanted to travel, and so when we were on the road, I would show her pictures of where we had been when we were home. She traveled through me every time. But, a part of it was I was running away from reality of my mom being sick. But she always to me not to worry about her. She didn’t want me to sit and wait for her to die. Then in November, when I had my foot surgery, she wanted me to go through with it and be pain free. I had a month that I wasn’t able to be in the house with her like I wanted to. That is where the guilt starts.

I did what I could for her, but with every caregiver, I feel it wasn’t enough. We never feel anything we do is enough.

Anger has also been an issues lately. Mainly because with Mother’s Day coming, I’m jealous of all the ones who have their mom still. I’m angry that all the daughters who have their mom that he get to do whatever. The grandmas who get to see their grandchildren hit milestones. My son won’t have his grandmother there for his graduation. His wedding. His anything else he achieves. Sadly, I know that feeling as I lost my grandmother at 12 yrs old.

I hate feeling this way. I’m on edge all the time and some people get the brut end of the deal. I end up holding it a in and that hurts me even more. Not only mentally, but physically. I know I will eventually be ok. But sometimes I wonder how long it it’s going to take. I can’t take feeling like this anymore.

Normal?

I had a normal life before mom got sick. I worked, I did everything freely without a care in the world. Then mom started changing and so I naturally took on more. I at the time never thought much about it. Children help their parents more and more as they age. It’s the normal order of things. When she got her dementia diagnosis, I gained a new normal. Caregiver wasn’t what I was expecting to do, as no one does, but I did it because she’s my mom. Dad was in denial so I had to put me aside. Ask any caregiver, it’s hard to keep your old self in your new normal (of caregiving). As she progressed, so did my normal. Then, cancer hit. Another new normal. Keeping her comfortable, making sure hospice, dad and I were all on the same page. Oh, did I mention, I also have a husband and son who needed me too. All of this went on for two years and one month.

Now, here it is 3 1/2 months post caregiving, and I am trying to find my new normal. You may ask why can’t I go back to my old self ? In a single word.. grief. Yes, I have lost family members and several I was really close to, but I didn’t see them everyday. My grief for them was tucked in the same pocket of me not seeing them all the time. But losing a parent changes you. And when you take care of then, they become a part of you. Almost like an extension of yourself. I had to at least see her to be able to relax for the night. (Relax..yeah right).

After mom passed, that extension of me was gone. My job of taking care of her was done. It was like getting fired from a job. No time to prepare for the next step in life. I was faced with a new reality. I had to be a wife, a mom, and be a support to my dad.

My new normal is hard. Those times you want to ask mom for advice, tell her your good news, and in my case, call her and tell her about our adventures of the day. Learning to go through everyday life with a piece of you missing is hard. That is my new normal.. learning to function with a hole. Most days, yes, I am fine. But, then there others I crumble into a blubbering mess. There is no going back to the person I was before everything changed. My hole was filled. I could call mom at any point in time.

But, this new normal is something mom would have wanted. She always told me to take care of me and my family. Not to worry about her. So, I’m trying to honor her by taking care of us. Of me. I got a haircut the other day after a little over a year. Mom also wanted to travel. I would call her from places she would have wanted to see and showed her the pictures if where we had been. That’s why I’m not going to sub anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but traveling with my husband for our business is more important. I like to think that she is our personal gaurdian angel and we are her guides to where she wanted to go.

My new normal is hard, but this normal will be forever changing. As the years go by, the person I am now will change. And that person will change. And that person. So normal… Not in my vocabulary. I’m a work in progress and plan to progress to as close to the person I once was. But my old normal is gone.

The House That Built Me

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The house that built me, full of love, full of pain.  Full of laughter, and some of shame.

The house that built me, full of memories in that yard.

Cousins play, grown ups talk, tears were shed, some happy, some not

The years of wear and tear wouldn’t be taken back.  They made the house that four generations have seen.

The house that built me, taught me much.  To sew, to bake, to learn to take a break.

The house that built me, now not so strong.  Her bones wear thin, just like those who live in it now.

So much love, so much pain, but the memories of all will remain the same.  Even when the house’s walls are crumbling down.

 

 

Anger

I by nature am not an angry person.  But since my mom was diagnosed with dementia, I have felt anger take over me and I now, am consumed by it.  I know I cannot blame mom for anything.  It was her life, her choices, and her acceptance of whatever happened, happened.

But lately, I have noticed I am on the verge of tears all the time.  I have a hard time being alone because I start to think about things and start crying.  I am so tired of crying.  I never thought I could cry as much as I have. I know in my heart that I need to feel these emotions through.  But mentally, I cannot handle it.  I don’t want to cry anymore.  But, yet I do.  I cry over thinking about mom and I being out on a nice day.  I cry about her drinking herself to death via diet cokes.  I cry about her not taking better care of herself.  I cry about anything and everything that involves her in the thought.  But, yet I just shed a few tears and go on when in reality, I want to have a major sob session.  But, I don’t have the energy for it.  I feel it physically effecting me because I never hurt as bad as I am now.

I know mom wasn’t going to live forever.  But, I wasn’t expecting her to die while I am still in my 30s, even though she outlived both her parents.  Her dad was in his mid 50s, her mom was 69, mom was 71.  I get mad at the fact that she chose a lifestyle over us.  She chose to not take care of herself and listen to us about the dangers of what she was drinking.  I get mad at the fact that there are many of my friends who have moms in great health and get to watch their grandchild(ren) grow up and do things with their life.  My son was the apple in her eyes.  From the moment that my son was born, he had her wrapped around his little finger.

Not long after she was diagnosed with cancer, I had a major breakdown because I was so upset about her choices.  She had a good life, she was happy, and that is what should matter.  So why am I so mad at her still.  Its not fair to her or me.  I really when you break it down, just want my mom.  I need her advise.  I need her arms around me telling me its going to be ok.

I know that anger is a huge part of grief.  Both anticipatory and after death grief.  Watching someone die changes you.  I watched my father in law and my mom die.  I did everything for them.  I want whoever reads this, its ok to be angry.  Be angry at the world.  But, don’t hold it in like I am.  Its not worth it.  I will get it out.  When, who knows.  It will probably be over something stupid. Like tonight, my husband didn’t want pork chops and I got mad over it.  Seriously… I later apologized because it was something stupid.  If I don’t get my way, or if I get criticized,  it sets me off.  I know that this is something I have to get through.  Its not the way to live.  I hate being angry.  Its not me.