TEN years. Has it really been 10 years? To the day actually; June 19, 2005. It was a Sunday. I had just left the hospital and we got the phone call. That was it. I remember thinking that you were going to beat cancer and then suddenly the day came where we all sat in the hospital realizing this was it. We said our goodbye’s and before we knew it, you were gone. Friends and family traveled from near and far to remember your life and to support the four of us – It was truly a tribute to the amazing woman you were and the amazing people who would help us all get through the tragic loss we faced.
Here’s some background on the woman I called Mom. She was a pediatric oncology nurse at Hasbro Children’s Hospital for 27 years. She adopted four kids as a single mother. We all went to private school, had clothes on our back, had a house to live in, and food in our stomachs along with numerous pets. She was one of a kind. She was strict, she was very rule oriented, but she taught me everything I needed to know. She had the mouth of a sailor and she didn’t take your crap. She did everything in her life with some sort of purpose. Every lesson she taught, every word she spoke, every action she made; there was a reason behind it. The day she told me she had cancer she told me not to be worried or afraid and so I did my best to trust her.
I am lucky enough to have such great friends and family. They supported me then and continue to be there to support me, pick me up, remind me they are thinking of me as each year passes, especially on the anniversary of your death and that gives me a sense of relief; that everything you did to shape me into the woman I am today, is still with me. You’d be so proud of your granddaughters; and most definitely laughing at the trouble Hailie gives me because as they say your kids are always worse than you were. I was for sure the “problem” child for my mother. I wasn’t bad per say, I just didn’t love the rules. I wanted to be my own person, independent with a side of sass and tons of laughter. I honestly don’t think much has changed.
In these ten years I have brought you with me every step of the way. From high school graduation, to college, to having two kids, to getting married – and everything in between. I often wonder if I told you I loved you enough, or showed you how grateful I was for everything you gave me. I often wonder if I turned how you thought I would, or what things would be like if you were here. But really, I miss you. I miss you for those big moments, those silly questions, and just the fact that you’re not here. That feeling never goes away and it catches you off guard when you least expect it.
But really, 10 years? It’s crazy to think 10 years ago that I was only 16 and only in high school. I know you would be so proud of who I’ve become. It seem’s life a lifetime ago since you passed but it also feels like it was yesterday. Everyone told me the first year would be the hardest. But really – every year is equally as hard as the year before. I am not sure how to feel because at the end of the day, it’s still a day without you here.
As I sit here and look back on the past 10 years I can’t even begin to describe my feelings. Quite honestly, I don’t even know how to feel. A day hasn’t gone by without you in my mind. How has time gone by so quickly. You lose something so important to you, yet life just keeps going on. You often worry that people will forget; if people even remember you or the amazing woman you were before you got sick. After the funeral, it was surreal. The world kept moving, people went on with their lives – and that was it. For some reason at the time I guess I thought that time would stand still for a little while longer. My brothers and sister separated the same day and for a split second I felt a sense of pure abandonment. That is when friends and family stepped in and made sure that I was OK, reminded me that I would never be alone. Just gave me added reason to count my blessings for everyone that was in my life at that time and still today.
But today, 10 years later, I am thankful. I am thankful that you all have helped me remember that she will always be with me in one way or another. I am blessed. I am so blessed that my daughters have a guardian angel like you. I am me. I couldn’t give that credit to anyone else but you – the good and the bad. So today, a tribute to an amazing woman. I am lucky to have had you in my life for 16 years, and I will continue to take you everywhere I go. I love you mom.
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.