I should have hugged you tighter...
I never got to say goodbye.
The last 5 years or so I watched your health deteriorate. We all did.
You were always stubborn but when it came to you seeing a doctor, you were especially stubborn.
Conversations of your health and lifestyle turned into arguments so it was not spoke about often.
I should have been more aggressive.
I knew that you drank, often. I knew that there was a high possibility that you were an alcoholic but somehow I just wanted you to be my Mom. And it didn’t matter to me what that looked like. I had my mom and I accepted you for who you were.
That was quite selfish of me.
There were many moments the last 2 years when I felt so lost and even more scared that one day I would lose you.
Moving out of state wasn’t ever my plan, but that’s how my cards played out. Even though I came home every other month or so, now I know it wasn’t enough.
My little brother isn’t even 25 and now he doesn’t have a mom.
You’ll never get to see your grandkids grow up and you don’t get to grow old with Dad.
You told us you were okay. That it wasn’t that bad. That we were overreacting and you didn’t have a drinking problem. That you could stop if you wanted to.
Sadly we all knew none of this was accurate.
The last time I saw you awake was in July. You looked so sick. I remember the fluid built up in your tummy, the yellowing of your eyes and your swollen ankles. Even just walking was a chore.
You never ate anymore, I’m pretty sure you were under 100 pounds.
I wanted so badly to scream at you, to tell you how selfish you were. But also to tell you how much I love you. How important you are to us.
I didn’t do either. Instead, I walked on egg shells when speaking to you, since the last time we had a conversation about your health it completely changed our relationship.
Honestly it felt like I lost my mom a long time ago.
But I wasn’t ready to fully admit it.
Remember when we would sit in our plastic pool in the backyard and tan for hours? And all of our camping trips? When we went to lagoon and Dakota had an ear infection and it was the best worst trip ever? Remember when I had my kids and you never left my side? When you would stand up for me and fight for me? Remember when I was your little girl?
You loved me. You loved us. So much.
Sometimes I get lost in the thoughts of you not being yourself and being cold hearted. But I know that wasn’t who YOU were. That was the alcohol taking over.
You were so loving, caring, absolutely hilarious and very giving. That’s what I am choosing to remember.
I got to town 2 days too late. You had already fallen asleep. Seeing you in that state was devastating but I also felt gratitude for being able to hug you, just one more time.
As you laid on that bed, with Dad by your side telling you how much he loves you, I wished so badly you could hear us.
You tried to hold on, you were still stubborn. Your organs just couldn’t fight any longer.
The alcohol won.
I never had the chance to say goodbye. Or to tell you that I am glad you’re my Mom. I never got to say how important you are to me. Or how great of a Grandma you are.
It still doesn’t seem real and I don’t know how to process this.
Been dreaming of you recently. Thank you for coming into my dreams but damn it Mom, this is so hard.
You were so beautiful in so many ways and I will never forget that.
I miss you. Till we meet again.
I love you, Mommy-O.