August 9, 2010
Inoperable brain tumor...the words flow through my mind. She died 6 years, 2 months, 10 days ago...that is if my math is correct. I was 20. I was just a baby by most adult standards. Just a fledgling wanna be adult waiting to set the world on it's ear. She was smart and beautiful and funny. She loved me. Our relationship was a complicated one. She was my mother's girlfriend. She was my other mom. She was the mommy that would hold me when I cried. She was the one who would sit up on those long nights with the fevers and vomit. She didn't complain about taking on another kid. She did it gracefully. There was a definite difference in how she treated me and how she treated her biological son. He was spoiled and mean. She herself used to refer to him in some pretty un-motherly terms. He treated her like shit. She didn't deserve that, but she would appease him just to keep the peace. It wasn't worth fighting...he was too far gone. With me she would fight tooth and nail until I understood exactly why things needed to be the way she said. She wanted something more for me. Maybe she saw more potential. I will never know. What I do know is that she came to almost everything from the time I was 11. She was at every play, every concert, almost every rodeo...Every parade, every doctor appointment, most orthodontic appointments. She was there for birthday's and Christmas, Easter and 4th of July. She was there for the first dates, the must have clothes, the need to fit in and be cool. She heard about my first period, my first kiss, and what really happened when my brother kept me out too late at my dad's house. She was my compass and the best friend a girl could want. She made sure I was surrounded by strong women, lots of new ideas, and big words. I can't imagine what I would have been without her. I remember driving with her, shopping with her, swimming with her. She was so present in my life...until she wasn't. An "inoperable brain tumor"...what a crock of shit. Now what? How does a kid move on from that? The only person that never left even when they left...and what the fuck anyway? I'd just lost my gramps the year before who was followed swiftly by her sister...this wasn't fair. I had just seen her in August...She'd come home to clean out a storage unit. She'd made sure that she spent an entire day with just me. She had just talked to me in February. Had just emailed in April. It was the end of May. A month of frantically trying to get a hold of her and that phone call came. It was her number, I think, but it was him. Kevin Dean...the guy with 2 first names that took her away. It was her choice and wasn't his fault but the background makes him kind of an ass...He told me "Kate's gone". Mom was there when I lost my cool. I remember crying and not being able to talk and her needing to know what could possibly cause me to react that way. She was devastated too. They say misery loves company but I would do anything for her not to have to feel this way too. I never got the entire story. I tried to via email but he wanted a phone call. I wouldn't call, nope, COULDN'T call. I couldn't have a stranger tell me what happened to my mommy. It wasn't fair. It shouldn't have had to be that way. Years went by and I never knew the entire story. 5 years in fact. And even then I had to search for someone to tell it. I found Martha. She was like an answered prayer. She told me what happened...and the sting that Kate had died here right downtown...right where I could have been there...It all led to more questions and less answers. It's helped some with the closure, but I'm afraid I will always be just a little bit broken. I'll always have that void that no one could possibly fill...where I keep her tucked in and safe. Right where no one can see her and no one can really see me. The feelings, the hole, the wall...they're indescribable and even if they were no one could understand. Her, the hole and the words "inoperable brain tumor"...always there...always waiting.