Monday, November 19, 2007

Countdowns

For the last 11 years Thanksgiving has been a really rough holiday for me. It used to be just a holiday... a day to avoid the turkey and whine that there weren't more veggies on the table. But 11 years ago at this time we lost my mother to cancer. 13 days from diagnosis to death. That was all we got. At the time, my father was battling Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma that had only been found a month before. So yeah, not such a good time.

10 years ago my father was just ending his radiation treatments. I was on a path of self destruction and medicating myself beyond measure. None of these 'medications' were exactly legal.

9 years ago my father and I began our annual trips to California for Thanksgiving to my brother's house. This would continue for years. It was easier to leave home during that time. Easier to not be in her house and count the years back. To think about exactly what happened on what day. To gauge my memory of her by the standard of how long she had been gone.

4 years ago I think I stopped paying attention to the days. I had begun dating Spouse (who knew and loved my mother) and had finally found peace in what had happened. Acceptance that what I had left of a holiday had to be more then memorializing those 2 weeks in my head every year.

1 year ago I was finishing my last treatment before the holiday. I was going to VT to BFs, both of our traditions broken that year- we decided to be together.

It is the week of Thanksgiving and I am so grateful that from this point forward, this time of year is no longer a battle between what was and what is. I am not consumed by grief or anger. I don't mourn it. I don't turn from it.

Because one year from now I will be preparing for my baby's first birthday.

A day that as I sit in the here and now preparing for- will most certainly occur before December 3rd.

The day that I lost my mother.

5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

It's so good to be able to make a previously unhappy time of year a joyous time of year. Although I'm glad my traditional Thanksgiving plans are back this year I'm a little depressed I can't just take you with me. I liked our 1 year tradition of spending that time together!

I loved your Mom to. She was a very special classy lady. I mean who else but the best can show up at Pasta Blitz for lunch with a 10 lb box of laundry detergent?

Cheryl said...

((HUGS))

andi said...

I'm sorry this is such a rough time for you. I hope your sweet baby gives you a reason to celebrate.

the new girl said...

For me, having the baby in the hospital really undid some of the trauma that I felt from the craziness of losing my mom (I had 5 weeks in total, 3 from the diagnosis of lung cancer).

Looking forward is good and I'm so feeling you.

Mrs. Chicken said...

It was five years between diagnosis and death for my dad. I often have a strange conversation with a friend whose situation was much like yours - what's worse - short or long?

I think each is unique, just like our personal grief.


But I understand your pain because I feel it. I am so sorry.

You're right - your child will bind your wounds in ways you never expected.

Peace to you.

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