One of my favorite early memories from back in the ‘70’s is sitting with my mother in a field of dandelions. I was about three or four years old. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day. Strong gusts of wind swirled our hair around our faces. I can still remember my mother plucking the bright yellow dandelions that peppered the thick green grass. As she tossed each dandelion into the wind, I shrieked with delight and scrambled to catch it before it fell to the ground. My father just grinned in the background with the Minolta camera around his neck, snapping pictures.
Over four years have passed, and I’m still living in a world without her. A part of me still believes that when I wake up in the morning and walk downstairs, she’ll be smiling at me in the kitchen. Because if she were still around and her true self, there’s a good chance she would have spent a lot of time at my house. She probably would have driven me crazy by doling out unsolicited parenting advice and spoiling her grandchildren rotten. That’s the type of person she was and I miss her.
Oh, God. I really miss her. I feel like a child who wants to scream at the top of her lungs about how unfair this is. She was taken from us too early. And I don’t even have the memories of who she used to be in happier days to comfort me. Most of them were consumed by the same damned illness that robbed us of her personality. Over the span of fifteen years, my family and I tried so hard to fight against nature, but in the end, we were helpless. It consumed her and every other aspect of our lives.
I was twenty-three years old the first time she had a seizure. So you would think that I should be able to remember her as she was before her illness. But I don’t. At least, not without a struggle. When I think of her today, my mind automatically wanders to the hospitals, rehab centers and nursing home where she spent most of the last two years of her life. And that’s what makes her death even harder for me. Remembering her illness and not remembering her. How can I tell my children who their grandmother truly was when I don’t know the answer myself?
This is the main reason I’ve started this blog. To publish what I write and capture who I am on paper. I don’t want my children to experience the same type of pain that I am. I want them to know who their mother was as a person. No matter what happens, they’ll always have me through my writing.