Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Year Later...

Almost a year has gone by since the day that would forever change my life. I remember that Tuesday like it was yesterday, I was helping the vet put a splint on a dog. Kori called my cell phone which was odd because we had gotten in a huge fight a couple days before and were not talking. Then when the secretary came to the back and said I had a phone call, I knew something was wrong. This all happened in the morning and the rest of the day came crashing down. I spent the day praying that I would make it to see her. I didn’t think I would and the last thing Mom and I would have talked about were the meatloaf and mashed potatoes I had made Monday night, although thankfully, I ALWAYS told her I love you before we got off the phone. I kept thinking that thank goodness she knew I loved her.

There’s a lot I could say in this. I could tell the story of those three days, the emotional roller coaster I was on wondering when it was going to happen and how long we had; dreading saying my goodbye to her. I had so much I needed to tell her like she didn’t need to worry about me because I would get it together one of these days. And someday I would figure it out and she would be proud of me. And how I hated that my kids won’t get to know her. I never got to tell her any of those things. I know she knows them, but it’s not the same.

So, through this year there has been good and bad. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way. In a way I’m glad this year is over and in a way it makes me sad that I did indeed make it a year without my Mom. I did what I thought was the unimaginable a year ago.

Some things I’ve learned:

1. People deal with things differently. If I deal with something differently than you do, that does not make it wrong. It’s hard to see that sometimes because we forget we are different people and we think “Well if I can do this than you can” and sometimes, a gal just needs to eat brownie dough and not answer her phone for a week or so. And that’s okay.

2. Although I don’t see it, I am stronger than I think. Sometimes it amazes me when people say I am a strong person because I don’t see it. There are so many people out there that have it worse than me so I don’t feel like I have the right to say “I am strong. I made it through that.” But, I DID make it through it, maybe not so smoothly, but I made it. And as corny as it is, I am strong. I’m pretty sure I got that from my Mom.

3. It’s okay to cry. I haven’t quite gotten this down pat yet. There are times when I know I am low as low can go and I want to cry, but I hold it back. (This probably is because I feel like I have to be strong.) Every few months it would finally ALL come out. Months of needing to cry spilling out which results in hours of bawling my eyes out which lead to a headache and a very red, blotchy face. At first I wouldn’t tell anybody about it, but I found when I did tell people, believe it or not, they were all understanding! Here I felt like this failure because I gave in and everybody was okay with it. So I’ve learned, it really is okay to cry.

4. Lean on people. I’m not going to mention a name on here, but there was somebody unexpected that I leaned on and I know he/she was what got me out of my slump. I didn’t feel like I had anybody to talk to anymore, my Mom was gone. I know I could have talked to my sisters and family, but they were dealing with the same thing I was and I didn’t want them to feel like they had to take care of me. This person let me literally tell the same story over and over again. They didn’t try to make things better, they just listened. Everybody has their own issues going on in their lives, but this person made me feel like mine was the only issue (not to sound like a brat) and I am thankful for that because I think I needed that at the time. So thank you!

5. If something happens in your life, you will get a whole support system you never knew you even had. The Friday Mom died, I was not at the house more than 20 minutes when people started bringing food and items over and they did not stop. The support that that community gave us was amazing and I would like to thank you all for that. Then to follow that, I came back to Clearbrook, a town who barely knew me or my Mom and got support from them. To keep going, doing this benefit we have gotten SO much support from family, friends, friends of friends, coworkers, people who don’t know us, and the list goes on! So, I’ve learned, there are more people that care about me then I ever knew.

6. Tell people you love them, you’ll regret it if you don’t.

7. There is definitely a God. If you don’t believe it, then you need to hear the story of what my Mom went through those three days. Divine intervention.

8. Be thankful everyday for what you have. I have dealt with a few deaths this year besides my Mom’s and you honestly do not know when it’s your time. Mom lived every day. I don’t think I ever once saw her pass on spending time with her grand kids (whether she really wanted to watch them or not). Most of the time at a get-together you would find her with one of the kids playing a silly game or watching a movie. They were her pride and joy. Take the extra moments and spend them with the people you care about.

9. I am very stubborn and I know this sometimes has and is going to get me into a lot of trouble. The problem is I know I got that quality from my Mom so I’m probably not going to get rid of it, just maybe I’ll learn when to use it better. Sorry in advance. 

10. Take pictures. The only picture I can find of Mom and I was taken my sophomore year of high school. We both look horrible in it, but it’s in a frame at work and it’s on my fridge. Sorry Mom!

11. Lastly, you’ll find your strength in numbers; we aren’t the Rankin Girls for nothing! There’s a reason there’s so many of us and when we are together we are a force to be reckoned with. And although this may be corny for my sisters, I love you guys and even though sometimes we drive each other nuts, I wouldn’t trade you for anything. (Bless your little hearts.)