Those may be the three most influential words ever said: I miss you.
I miss you, mom.
I knew one day you’d be gone. And I knew a few years ago it wouldn’t be long before you did. On the one hand, you wanted to go. You didn’t want to be a part of this world any longer. I get it.
But on the other hand, man, you stuck it out until you couldn’t. Your body just wouldn’t quit. It was hard to watch. Your mind checked out a long time ago. You gave up. I will never know what plagued you so.
It did always sadden me that you didn’t want to hang on to see my kids grow up. But maybe you knew something I didn’t. I don’t know. I suppose I never will know.
But knowing that you’d be gone soon didn’t really prepare me for your leaving.
There are moments, still, where I think: I need to call you.
Like something will happen and I get the impulse to call. Or to drive out to Brentwood and just say “Hi.”
But I can’t. And that bums me out. More than you’ll ever know.
When somebody is alive, and you say, “I miss you,” it means I’m looking forward to seeing you, giving you a hug, talking with you.
When you’re gone, no longer on this earth, it means I’m sad, I’ll never see you again. I won’t get to hug you or talk to you ever again.
Just a further confirmation that, as I tell your grandkids: “Context matters.”
I certainly hope that you’re with Gramma and Popo. I have my doubts. You know I gave up believing in God years ago. Just one disappointment after another. Too many people I loved died before I was ready for them to die.
That sounds selfish. Because it is. But no amount of praying kept your mom here. No amount of praying kept Popo here.
And no amount of praying could keep you here. I know people prayed for you.
I didn’t. I feel bad about that. Like I could have done more.
Too late. The jig was up long before you needed praying for.
That saddens me, too. What if I had prayed? Would you still be here? I doubt it. Especially because I’m a fraud in God’s eyes. I don’t believe.
I know most of my family does believe. They prayed for you.
It didn’t matter.
Where am I going with this?
I don’t know. I’m just rambling.
On this first anniversary of your passing, I’m kind of lost. I have a wife to love and 4 kids to love and care for.
I miss you, mom.
I wish we could stop by today and say hi. I wish my kids knew you better. Liam and Rowan – they remember you.
But Conneely and Finn – they don’t. You weren’t here long enough. They were too young a year ago for anything to stick.
It saddens me that we’re putting the house up for sale, coincidentally on this day. I didn’t plan it that way.
I know you wanted me to keep it forever, but to what end? I can’t ever live there. Too many memories I just want to simultaneously re-live and bury.
I want to move far far away. To get away from it all. Hell, every time I drive past Fenton, I re-live your last few weeks.
Those were painful to watch. I’m sure they were painful to live.
You stopped eating. Your bones got brittle. When the nursing staff moved you out of your bed, they broke your femur.
You and I both know they cared. They didn’t do it on purpose. But it happened. And it was your fault, really. Sorry.
But I get it. You wanted to die. And you did.
But I still miss you.
I wish your last few years weren’t so painful.
I wish your life wasn’t so grim.
I never really understood why you were so miserable. Was it me?
Did you really want me? Your life sucked, in part, maybe solely because of me? Too much for a single mom with a dead-end job to bear?
You always said you loved me. I always believed you. Why wouldn’t I?
I miss you, mom.
I hope you’re in a better place. I hope you’re no longer sad. I hope you’re with your mom and dad again.
Finny was sick yesterday and the day before. Lots of vomiting. Stomach bug. Now we’re all kind of sick. I guess we got what he had. He slept most of the day, on and off.
It was not fun to watch. He was in my arms most of yesterday. It made me sad.
I’m really sad today. I’m really sorry I couldn’t help you be happy.
I miss you.
Liam and Conneely and I went out to Knightsen last night. Andrea’s daughter graduated high school. She’s going to UC Davis, just like me 🙂
We saw lots of family. It was a family reunion of sorts. Arthur, Uncle Ted & Aunt Anita, Paula, Aunt Molly, Nicole and her family, Terry, Kerry.
The kids had a great time. So did I. I remember all those family reunions Gramma had at the house. Good memories.
I drove right by the Brentwood house. I didn’t turn down the street though. I didn’t want to see it one last time. Too painful.
I really miss you, Mom.