9.27.2011

Parenting without a Mother

I haven't really talked much about this on my blog...just because it's a rather sensitive subject.  To me, that is.  However, I wanted to share now because I know there are more and more Moms out there struggling with this  As we get older, it's inevitable.

I was 17 years old when my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  I graduated in May of 1992 and I knew then my mom had been visiting doctors a lot more than usual.  But in typical teenage fashion, I was too wrapped up in my own senior year and teenage drama to notice too much.

I don't remember when they told me it was cancer.  You'd think that would be a moment in my life that I could remember clearly.  Maybe it's because I've tried to block it out.  Either way...I don't remember.  What I DO remember is my mom being rushed to the emergency room near death because they had given her the strongest dose of chemo that it almost killed her.  It wasn't long after that until I found out it was TERMINAL cancer.

After the super strong doses of chemo, Mom was never the same.  She was confused most of the time.  I remember spending my 18th birthday in the hospital with mom.  I remember watching fireworks from the hospital walkway on July 4.  For a short while, in probably late August, right as I started college (in town to be able to stay living at home) I remember my Mom as she used to be.  I remember her cooking dinner at the stove with one leg resting in a chair.  I remember her knowing I was going to college and asking me about my days.  And I remember the day it all changed.  Just as clear as if it were yesterday, I remember eating dinner at the table and Mama saying something random that didn't make sense.  I said, "What Mama??".  That was the beginning of the end.  The next day she woke up confused and never recovered. 

She was diagnosed in May 1992.  In November 1992, she was gone.  I had great friends, family and church family to care for my dad and I after her passing.  But what I didn't have, and still don't is a Mother.

Why do I bring this up now?  Because I'm raising a young woman.  And it's hard.  And after recent issues, I really wish I had my Mom to talk to.  I'd like to ask her when I started getting frustrated with Math at school.  I'd like to know if Jenna acts anything like I did at her age.  I'd like to ask her what to do when I don't know what else to do with Jenna in her schooling or her discipline. 

But I can't.

And it sucks.

And I bet I'm not alone.  I bet there are others out there who have lost their moms (even recently) who feel that void when they are parenting (or struggling with it!) just like I do.  It's not easy and it's something I think most women take for granted.  I have family and women in my life who try and help fill that hole.  But they can't be everything I need them to be.

But it is what it is.  We go on.  We do the best we can.  I know I feel the loss of her much more during these times...

I miss her.

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