very long post...very personal...much recounting of my life. Skip this if you expect it to in any way be funny or even make sense...it's VERY VERY LONG...
I'm an over thinker. If I know anything about myself, this is definitely it. So I've been thinking...What is a truly broken heart? Do we ever get over a significant loss? Does the heart ever really truly heal? Or is like Stephanie Meyer says in her "New Moon" book...that we essentially just get better at dealing with the pain. I never thought a book about teenage vampires would ever have anything to say that would truly make sense, but dealing with my newest round of grief over something that happened more than 5 years ago, her words suddenly become actually relevant to my life. I find it odd, hilarious, and a more than a bit pathetic that I would admit a fluffy book like that would relate to me, but nonetheless the book is irrelevant, the words are not.
A Comprehensive break down of my life...this is going to be long...feel free to skip this post
15 years ago:
Mom comes out and starts dating one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her name is Kate and she becomes my new mommy...My mom was always my mom, but she was MY momma Kate. I was the daughter of her heart and soul. We both knew that what was happening was inescapable, beautiful, and exciting. I finally had a mom with whom I could relate. That isn't said to diminish my relationship with my biological mother, we are very close and she is absolutely wonderful, but this was different and extraordinary.
until 10 years ago:
Kate and I remain joint at the hip. She's moved in with us. She's taught me to cook, she's taught me about defining my own spirituality without relying on a religion, she's taught me that people want to do better with their second child than they did with their first (and boy did she), she's introduced me to all kinds of new and wonderful people. Until she left when I was 16 we were inseparable. I was a child living in an adult world...and I felt like I was right where I belonged.
almost 10 years ago:
Kate leaves us for him. Mom and I are hurt and pissed. She and I are still so close that it's hard for my to imagine my life without seeing her everyday. We talk everyday until she moves to the Virgin Islands when I'm 17.
9 years ago:
My life changes. She's gone, but we still talk daily, until it's only every couple of days. I don't see her physically any more, but she tries her best to ease that pain. She knows all too well what I'm feeling. Then again she always has...she's the one person who can read me like an open book.
6 years, 2 or 3 months:
She's home for a couple of weeks, he's with her. She kicks him out of their timeshare condo in Red Lodge, Montana so that we can have some uninterrupted mother/daughter time. Kiss that buddy...What a selfish kid...but she knew I still wasn't ready to face him. I still wanted my parents back together. My dad had my other mom, Kathleen, for which I am grateful...my life would be so different if Kathleen weren't here - and not in a good way...she's been so good to me...but my 2 moms were still separate now. It will never fail to amaze me how kids hang on to the thought of their parents being together again after a divorce. I loved Kathleen so I never wanted mom and dad back together, of that I was sure. But the battle between mom and Kate proved to be the one that put me in the category of "other kids" - the one I had never imagined being a part of myself.
6 years ago:
She's sick. She's having seizures. She has me convinced it's nothing, she'll be okay. I always believed everything she said. She could have told me the sky was yellow and I would have believed her...I truly think everything will be fine.
btwn 5 and 6 years ago:
I know something is wrong, but I don't know what. The phone calls are less frequent, she's feeling less up to talking, she's not e-mailing me back. This is not her. This is not MY Kate. My Kate would find a way to talk to me. Something is very very wrong, I'm worried, and I'm frantically trying to reach her. I can feel that she needs me and I can't be there. I'm scared for her....
5 years, 5 months, 1 1/2 weeks (essentially),
I get a phone call that shatters my world. I'm only 20 years old and I have lost one of the few people I am fully not ready to loose. I get the call. The call. His call. Him. The man I blamed for so long for a decision SHE made. He took my mom away from me. I can't help but be resentful even if it's wrong. My head knows it was her decision, my heart needs someone else to blame. He tells me she died. What!? How could this happen? I'm too young. She was too young. 52 years, almost 4 months. Literally days shy of the 52 years, 4 months. I'm in my old bedroom that is now mom's office. She's at her computer working, I'm in the recliner jabbering away about some nonsense as usual. The desk faces the windows, recliner faces the desk. The bathroom to my back and right, the bathroom she designed with the walk in closet I loved. The walls are a different color than when I was a kid...3 pink, 1 deep maroon purple. Shelley's idea...yuck. I get the call. I lose it. I lose it badly enough that mom looks at me like I've had a mental break. I can hear him talking vaguely. I can hear him tell me she's dead. It was a brain tumor. I'm sorry sweetheart....I'm sobbing by now...uncontrollable, heart wrenching sobs, sounds I don't remember ever making. Mom is watching me, concern on her face. I hear him ask, "Is there anything I can do for you?" I manage to say, "no"...and somehow, though I can't remember now, the call ends. That's it. She's gone. No answers, nothing. I tell mom. Mom's losing it. We're both overcome. Shelley walks in, I look at mom with desperation in my eyes that says "get Shelley out...I can't deal with her, please just make her leave". Mom sends her away. We both cry. Words must have been said. I can't remember any of it. It's like people always say "a haze". My world has just come crashing down. It was only 1 year, 3 months almost to the day that I lost my grandfather. I was only 19 when he died, now at only 20 one of the other most important people I have ever known is gone. 2 gone in a little over a year.
That same day I have promised my family to be at a Memorial Weekend BBQ at the river. I've told only 3 people about it...Sandy, Kara, and my mom. Sandy and Kara reach out to me. I think they both went to the BBQ with me for moral support. Not a word is said about what has transpired. They know better. I don't want them, I don't want anyone, I want my momma Kate. I want her and only her. The same person I always want when my heart is broken.
I try to e-mail him about her. He won't tell me anything through the e-mail. He wants me to call...I can't call. I'm not strong enough. I'm not ready. We lose touch. He moves on. I don't.
And so the years pass...
6 months (ish) ago:
I find him on facebook. He leads me to Martha. Thank you Kate, thank you God, thank you Martha. I find some answers and start the grieving process all over.
I don't know if knowing more has helped or made it worse. All I know is that my life feels broken still. 5 years later. 5 fucking years...when does it stop hurting like hell? When does my heart quit feeling broken? When does it quit feeling like there is a piece of my soul missing? I think I know more than I should about losing a parent at a young age. It's too hard for anyone to understand how much I relied on her...how much she truly was my mommy. How much only she understood about me. No one has ever known me as well as she did. I worry no one will. I worry no one will understand how much she means to me and how much it hurts to be without her. I have had friends who have lost a parent. They think that what I feel isn't the same. I won't say they are wrong. I also won't say that they are right. I can't begin to know what they feel, but the feeling of emptiness that they feel when they think of that parent...that loving, devoted, caring, compassionate person...that I know. The yearning to see that person, the need to just have them tell you everything is okay is all too familiar.
There are so many unanswered questions. So many resentments toward him, toward her brother, toward her son. Her asshole son was there...the daughter of her heart and soul was not. Fair? I think not. She didn't even LIKE her son...let alone her brother. I can't wrap my mind around his grief...I can't imagine why he would tell her son and her brother and not me. I can only speculate. Was it because he resented me? Was it because he knew how much she and my mom still meant to each other? Was it just that he wasn't thinking? He called me within a day so how could he not know...How could her own son not care enough to write an obituary? Why did he let her brother in on even the minutest details? The why's go on forever. I will likely never speak to him. I honestly don't know if I care to, to be honest. I'm not sure I could deal with him even to this day. I'm angry and I know to my core it doesn't help things. I know in my soul that not liking him, her brother, her son, the situation, the way it was handled, the way I let him overlook me, any of it, I know that it doesn't help. I know that it only hurts me. Yet, somehow, I can not overlook it.
I am like her in so many ways that I can not even begin to explain. The BFF sees it, mom sees it, anyone who saw us together sees it, saw it, or at the very least starts to see it eventually. If you look close she's in there...inside of me. In my heart, my soul, my mind, my spirit. She has shaped me into this person. The one with the freak outs over weird things, the sometimes obsessive behavior, the love of the unconventional, the love of the spiritual, the cook, the person who makes her own family, that girl that has so much passion sometimes that it seems insane. That person who loves cats, laughs at things inside her head, gives her mom shit like it's nobody's business and gets away with it when no one else can, that person that is unorganized as hell and can't find shit. That girl that loves Christmas, craft shows, music, and good movies. The girl that has learned to see beyond what is and see what may be, what can be, or what someone is not saying. The opinionated advice giving lecturing mom type. That sweet child that was always referred to as an old soul...she knew that person better than anyone because she helped create her. That girl is me. The real me. The me that sometimes feels very alone and very lost without her. The me that wonders...Do we ever truly get over this kind of soul deep loss? If this is not a broken heart what is? How do I move past this? And how do I learn to keep my heart open enough to not miss out on all the things life has to offer? She would want me to keep an open heart...she would want me to laugh, love, live, be happy. Yet, in times like today, I still struggle to see past the loss to what is to come. But I will be okay...because my parents...the collective whole of them...have taught me that I can survive anything. And because I have the greatest support system in the best people anyone could ever have.