I have been gone from life, from blogging, from work, for two weeks, because I have been with my mom and my family.
My mom suffered a heart attack and then some more attacks, and then - surrounded by family, she died on June 27. I could use the euphemism, passed away - which I have used lately, but really - it's ok to say that she died. And well, actually, she was with only my brother at the moment of her passing death, because we had to clear the room and leave just my brother with her to let her know that it was ok to go, because when the five of us (my siblings) and our spouses (making the ten of us) and my aunt and uncle (her only surviving sibling out of five - oh, the symmetry :)) making the twelve of us - well, when we were all in the room, she wouldn't go.
Because my mom loved a party. And gossip. And chat. She loved to be in the know and with it and frankly, she always wanted to be cool. In fact, we buried her with the new open-toe sandals she'd purchased just a month ago, the better to show off her hot pink pedicure in the afterlife.
And yes, I do have to pause to sob a bit as this is typed, even as I sound flippant. The best offense against crippling grief is a good humorous defense, right?
As I write this and most of my posts over the next few days / weeks, I hope you come to know my mom. Because she was ahead of her time AND because she was an English teacher who even now, is probably hating that I just started some sentences with 'because' and 'and.' And yet, she would be so proud that I have a blog and I'm writing. :)
She was in pain and had suffered heart damage that was unrecoverable, yet - she didn't want to leave, because we were chatting about our memories and she clearly was trying to hear us. So my brother took the hit for the family team and stayed to hold her hand and let her know that she could leave us for that great classroom in the beyond.
I have to say - I never really knew that grief could leave a physical hole in the center of one's self. I miss my dad......but the fact that I can never again call my mom and ask her about the potato salad recipe or the correct way to write a thank you note for a hideous gift, or the proper response to a daughter when she has an issue with a mean girlfriend at age 30 when really, we all thought that the mean girls club ended after 8th grade....I am wrecked with the physical and mental grief.
But my siblings and I - the legacy she left us - among many other gifts - was the ability to be tough. And we pinky swore to stick together, and today is day 7 of the pinkyswear.
So that's good.