So many mornings I open my eyes and I don't feel like getting out of bed.
So many moments I say to myself ... Seriously? Could this child have any more energy?
So many nights I think to myself, I wish I could stay in bed for a week.
I've known heartache.
I've known loss.
I've known love.
I know what it's like to be so overwhelmed with anxiety that you don't feel like seeing anyone. Where talking or listening is just too much.
The sound of someone's voice is just too harsh for your ears. Your eyes, even.
I know that feeling.
I know pain. I've lived through it.
I felt the pain of labor and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
I've felt the pain of loss and moved on, lived my life. Lost grandparents. One before I even came to be. I've talked about feeling the loss of someone you've never even met. The loss of someone who knew of you but never knew you.
The loss of that last living grandparent.
The loss of someone the same age as you. A mere two weeks apart. The heartbreak. The pain. The devastation.
I've spoken of losses that were unexpected. Kept hidden.
And today, I open my eyes and know again that someone I loved is gone.
Not quite unexpected, but certainly faster than understood. More painful, perhaps. Maybe less?
One of my mom's best friends, my extra "ma" who would call me Daughter. I was her only. She had three boys.
Can you find another mother so late in your life? In your twenties? Is that even possible?
It is. And I did.
Remembering that the first time I met her, face-to-face was at my grandmother's funeral. Of all the stupid memories.
She was sweet. She was quiet. She was loud. Too loud sometimes. She hid away in the corner of the house when everyone was in the other room. She made ridiculous faces, purposeful expressions to make you laugh. And laugh we did. She did.
She even looks a little bit like my mom. Short with short dark hair. They could pass for sisters, and likely often did. She may as well have been.
Today I opened my eyes knowing she had left us. Knowing she was no longer feeling any pain. And knowing she was with her own mother again. And I cried. Because I am sad. I am sad to lose her. To know I'll never see her again.
All I truly prayed for after speaking to my mom for an hour yesterday afternoon was that she would get to say goodbye. I'm forever grateful to our friend's sons for calling her and telling her to come. Now. She held her, touched her, spoke to her. Got to say her own kind of goodbye.
Now that she is gone it is my mom I worry about. I remember her own battle with the beast. The battle she won. And I wonder how hard it must be to watch her friend lose her battle. That same beast. And the blessing that is life continues for us. And so we honor our friend by living it.
So we open our eyes and get out of bed.
I say, 'Okay!' to my daughter when she wants to play hockey with me at 9 o'clock in the morning. Indoors.
I think to myself, I'll get a good night's sleep somehow and wake up refreshed tomorrow.
I'll continue to experience heartache.
And I'll never forget her.