The original purpose of this blog was to be an outlet, and in some ways it still is. It has turned into a place of creativity, fashion and joy, which I share with my many readers with every post. Today I take a bit of a turn. May 6 is a day that I dread every year. It’s a day I thought was cursed for years. But today marks 10 years since my mother passed away. Long story short, my mom and I were separated for five months in 2002: She was in Baltimore working and I was in Sacramento after deciding I wanted to go back home. She spent a month in the hospital, treating Acute Myeloid Leukemia and her body was not strong enough to make it. Three days before she died I flew back to Baltimore to be by her side. She never woke up. A single mother, my mom loved me with every bone in her body and at 14 years old, her death was devastating. Today at 24, I feel like it is imperative that I take some time to reflect on the past decade without my mom.
You know – this may sound crazy but it’s hard to believe that I am here. Many may wonder why I would say that. It’s because at one point in my life my heart was so broken, my hope so lost, that I didn’t know how I was even going to take my next breath. The news that my mother had died was paralyzing. My whole life flashed before my eyes – we were inseparable. I longed for an explanation, I longed for a proper goodbye. I longed. I’d like to say that although I experienced great sorrow through my high school years, my mother’s absence didn’t really hit me until I began college, and began drinking.
A pain I thought was gone would emerge at parties – me being triggered by some stupid boy or not doing well in a class, always ending in sobs of “I miss my mom” or “Why isn’t she here? I need her!” Often inconsolable, my friends tried and sometimes succeeded and I later worked through this issue professionally.
Nowadays, I sometimes can’t help but get jealous of daughters and mothers. I want to go to lunch with my mom. I want to go out dancing with her. I want to call her and ask her what she would do if she was in my shoes. I even want my mom to yell at me. I want her to tell me she’s sorry, but it was only because she loved me. I want my mom to help me get ready the day I get married. I want my mom to hold my hand when I’m giving birth to my children. So many wants and wishes that won’t be fulfilled.
I know I’m not the only daughter who has lost a mother. I’ve heard that it’s been so long and I can’t still be so upset over this. Well, I’m not paralyzed, but as I grow older, I realize I need my mother in different ways and sometimes that catches me off guard. I know my mom had a life before me, and I’d love to ask her about it. Relate to her as a woman and not as the tyrant who hounded me to clean my room and do my homework – as I’m sure all 14 year olds feel about their parents. 🙂
I have to say – my mom loved and cared for so many. She loved her family, even took in her grandmother to live with us when her dementia got so bad she couldn’t live alone (she also died on May 6, four years ago). My mom made the best out of every situation. She took no shit. She cooked the most amazing food. When she hugged you, she hugged you with everything she had. She always laughed out loud. She was witty and loyal. She had the best shoes and purses and she taught me how to be a smart shopper. She exposed me to me different kinds of people and things at an early age that at five years old, I could sit amongst a group of grown women and hold a conversation. She taught me to always show people respect, whether I liked them or not. She taught me to not depend on anyone for anything.
I feel so fortunate to have had her in my life for the time that I did. I thank God every day for being able to experience being loved the way my mother loved me. Some people will live their whole lives and never know how that feels. That love is what keeps me alive. I’m able to live, think, breathe, contribute, fight, love, and dream. And dream I do –there are so many things that I look to accomplish in my life and I will do so, never forgetting where I came from, using that as a platform to push myself further.
I cannot say thank you enough to the family (related and non-related), friends, and strangers who at one point or another, gave me a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. It is because of their support I’m where I am today.
I truly thank my grandmother, who passed away two years ago last Sunday. As crazy as our lives were together – from her unreasonable standards and me becoming responsible for her in her last years – I needed her and she made me a better person. It is because of her I had 14 years of life with my mom and for that I’m forever grateful.
I guess there’s nothing left to say except I love my mom. I miss her. And I’ll never forget her. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can hear her laugh. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to even feel her near me. Ena Theresa Jackson may not be here physically, but her energy will never leave this Earth.
Thanks for reading!
Your mother and grandmother live on through you in a beautiful way:)
Oh, you’ve made me cry. Your mom would be so proud of you! I lost my mom to caner in 1994, and it’s still very difficult on Mother’s day and holidays, or when something would trigger her memory. I’m sorry you don’t have a mom to give you advise or to yell at you….please don’t hesitate to call on me, I’m really good at both…ask my daughter!
Your mom was beautiful!
Thanks for your kind words. Yes, holidays are tough, but I find they’re easier when you’re surrounded by loved ones. I might take you up on your offer one day. Thanks for your support! 🙂
God bless you lil sis – both your mother and grandmother are always looking over you. I know not having them physically is hard and I understand as I too lost both my mother and grandmother. Thinking of them daily keeps them alive in your heart. My grandmother who was my mother/father/best friend transitioned on 5/1/09, at the age of 98 and although she lived long it wasn’t long enough for me, but what she taught me will live forever.
The short time that you did spend with your mother was precious and will remain with you always and hopefully will make you a better mom when the times comes.
Mother’s Day will be hard but maybe if you find someone to bless on that day it might make it a little easier. Stay strong!
Thanks for your powerful comment. I appreciate your support!
It took me 10 times to even make it through this post. The tears kept coming. You’re an inspiration Kachet and I am grateful that our paths have crossed.
Thanks, Amy! I’m grateful too! 🙂
My heart aches for you. I lost my dad when I was 13. My mom in 2004. I think of them daily. I miss my mother every single day. She left a hole that no one can ever fill. Your mom would be so proud of you!
Hi Glenda. Thanks for your kind words. I think we will always miss our mothers, but it will get easier as time goes on. Take care!
Hi! I was brought here because you “liked” my post on eyeshadow primers and then this post caught my eye. I too lost my mom, but when I was 21. It also happened in May, and it was also cancer. It seems the entire month is always a struggle, and it’s been almost 9 years (May 31). However, reading your post gave me some strength. I’m not going to say that your mother would be proud, or that she lives on in you (though I’m sure those are both true). When strangers say that to me, it seems so empty. Instead, I’m going to say that I admire you. That your post made a difference in how I view my own loss. That I feel better knowing that someone else still feels that sadness even after 10 years, and that you too wish you could ask her what her life was like before you. I so often think about how I would love to ask her all the things she went through at this age. Relate to her struggles, enjoy her triumphs, really get to see her as a person. When she died, I was still at an age where I wasn’t viewing her as a person, but as a parent. Now that I am at an age where I see parents differently, I long for the relationship we could have now. It’s something I think about a lot, and it’s just so nice to know that I’m not alone in that. Your outlook is beautiful, and your strength has inspired me. Thank you. Thank you for this post. Thank you for liking my post and leading me to yours. You’ve given me some light today. <3
HI there! I like Juniper James on Facebook (I’m a Sacramentan) and she made a mention of your blog – so that’s how we linked, and I’m glad we did! I’m so glad you shared your story with me. It means the world to know that someone else faces the struggles I do following the loss of a mother. I read the book “Letters from Motherless Daughters” last May and it gave me so much hope during a month that seems to drain the life out of me. It is the follow-up book to Motherless Daughters, which I have not read. The “Letters” book is a compilation of letters the author received after writing the first book. It explores loss from just happened to happened 40 years ago. I highly recommend. Thank you for sharing your story with me. Your comment is the reason why I wrote this post, instead of just sitting around feeling sad. *hug*
Thank you for the book recommendations. I will download them tonight. A huge *hug* right back atcha! 🙂
Kachet Honey, what a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mother. I read it with tears running down my cheeks it reaaly moved me. You have blossomed into a gorgeous powerful woman and your mother would be so proud of you. I love you heaps.
[…] disease and she made the choice to transition into hospice until her death. I get specific in this old blog post, but in a nutshell: I have and never will be the same. While so many pieces of me have blossomed in […]
Beautifully and honestly written. Brought me to tears.
Thank you for reading. <3