Books can be very personal for me, especially the stories that feel as though they've been written with my life experiences in mind. Those who seek literature, or simply discover it unknowingly, in the same way can understand that. These are my thoughts, my feelings, my words... of my story... ten years later.
I can still remember the phone call that woke us in the middle of the night, the one that would forever change my days & nights forward. You fought so effortlessly during those few weeks of so much uncertainty, but really all we wanted was for you to be comfortable. At least, that's what I would whisper to you as I sat by your bed side and wondered what would come next. You raised me to be a strong woman, and in those final moments I truly learned what strength meant. But it was something I wouldn't fully grasp until years later, and still find myself reaching out for, even now.
The reality of my world is that you are gone and I am still here. Even ten years later it's a reality I want no business being a part of, but unfortunately we don't always get to choose our realities. They are handed to us, sometimes shoved in our faces, and we must make do with what we have.
Some days are hard, really hard. I want you, my mother, for so many reasons. I want to be selfish and cry because you're not here. It's just not fair. But then I wipe away the tears and remind myself of the twenty-two years I did have you here. Sure we took them for granted, I think that's the human thing to do. But we lived our lives. And that's what makes those twenty-two years such special years for me.
You drove me to dance practice, spent hours at the sewing machine creating a one of a kind masterpiece that later I'd learn to appreciate and treasure. Mom, you always had a warm plate of food on the table, even after a long shift at work, and yet somehow you even found the time to sit and listen as I talked about my day, never giving away just how tired you really were. We lived our lives, as mother and daughter, through the ups and all the crazy downs. We simply lived, and for that I am forever grateful.
It's been ten years since I last touched your hand, kissed your cheek, and said those final words of "I'll see you soon". Ten years of not having my mother around for anything and everything, but I've lived.
I've survived. I've kept going.
And that is something you taught me, something that will forever be instilled in me.
To simply just live.