I promised myself I would write tonight so I’m doing so out of obligation, not inspiration. Let’s get that straight right off the bat.
And I’ve been drinking. I think I hear Cat Stevens singing “Trouble” off in the background there.
Truth be told, this is one of those heavy-thinking anniversaries most of us maybe have. It’s not affecting me, not in a negative way anyhow. More in a “Fuck it! I’m only here once! I’m BUYING WINE!” kind of way, actually. That’s not so bad.
What is it? 10th anniversary of my mother’s “whoops! those aren’t fibroids, those are big fuckin’ gonna-kill-ya tumours!”shoulda-been-a-hysterectomy. She’d have just under 6 months left.
I ain’t saying I’m over it, it’s just not bugging me like it has in the past. This year, unlike every other year, I’ve accomplished *so* much, and I know my mom’s wherever the fuck she is with a pint of Guinness and a wedge of cheddar with a thick slice of homebaked bread, going “That’s my girl.”
Although she probably would frown on getting drunk on a school night, but whatever. This is the plus to dead parents. It just doesn’t matter anymore when they’d frown. Took me 10 years to get this flippant, so don’t guilt me here.*
Come to think of it, she died at 57. I bet she wishes she’d said “fuck it” more often. Me, I’m not making that mistake. Go, me!
[Oh, tangent much? Speaking of living whilst young, you have another way to get annoyed by me. I’ve finally bought into the whole blip.fm thing. In case you dunno what it is, it’s kinda like powered-by-people radio. People can spin tracks on blip.fm and type a 140-char opener. And everyone else gets to listen to it. So these are the songs I’ve played in my week since joining. It’s kinda like Twitter for music-addicts.
My style’s a pretty select style. You’re either into it or you’re not. :) I don’t give a fuck really, but if you dig it, lemme know. Always nice to know there’s a point to broadcasting my tastes, right?]
Wow. 10 years ago tonight. Right now, 10 years ago, I was getting home from a spontaneous drop-in at my neighbourhood theatre for a repeat-viewing of There’s Something About Mary. It was routine surgery, nothing to sweat, so no rush getting home since she had anaesthetic to awaken from, right? I checked the answering machine. The doc. “We should talk.” Oh, that can’t be good. An hour later, I’m the chick in that chair in that ward room they only use for bad news. Cancer, huh? Well, that changes everything.
Five hours from now, a decade ago, it was in between when I got home and when my best friend arrived, and I was the most scared I’d ever been. It was not gonna end well, I thought. I think it can best be described as fetal-position-on-the-floor-in-the-corner-all-encompassing-fear.
But it’s a decade later, man. I miss her. Of course I do. You know I do. But it is what it is.
And I like what it is. What it’s become. Who I am. Who I’m growing into. My immediate future? Makes me smile. The woman I’ve become? Mostly makes me smile. She’s still a lotta work. But we’re getting there.
Shit happens. To us all. Tragedies. Heartbreak. End-of-our-world shit we think we’re perma-glued to the mat over, and we’re never ever gonna get up. But we do. And now, shit, I’ve survived a lot. I’ve got NO WORRIES about whether I’m tough enough. Not anymore.
Loss is strange, though. It fakes you out. I felt like I got kicked in the gut when a longtime reader wrote a week or so ago to tell me she’d lost her mom in a fire. Oh, wow. My heart went out on a priority-1 delivery, man. My age when I lost mine, too. I feel SO much for her. But on the flipside, I know she’s going to be fine. We all endure this.
It’s funny, I’m a latebloomer in everything. I had sex when I was 18. Smoked dope at 21. Never really tackled my sexuality till 26 or so (despite being an early starter on things like bondage). But I was practically first in line to lose my mom. Why start small on self-discovery, huh?
I’m sitting here and now, at 35, with a smile on my face, though. I look around at what’s comparatively a somewhat meagre life, and I’m happy. I’m content with where I’ve gotten. Because I live for me, my way, my how. It’s a decent life. I’ll take it.
So… [grin] what I thought would be a pretty melancholy day, replete with memories past, has turned into a really nice personal evening of reckoning.
It feels like it’s the end of my grief. I’ve been waiting for the moment for so long that, now it’s here, I can only just grin, nod, and take another sip of wine.
Because sometimes that’s all ya really need do. Savour the moment, because it’ll fall away all on its own soon enough.
*Re: Dead Parent Guilt: the track by VAST, Free, on my Blip.FM songlist is the song I listened to OFTEN in the months after Mom’s death. The freedom-from-guilt thing with not-having-to-please-Mom was instantaneous with her death. Weird, I know, but not something they prepare you for. “Wow, I don’t have to disappoint again. COOL.”