This Is Us

Next week is a week full of triggers. It’s not just the fact that Halloween is coming which if you knew mom she was the Queen of Halloween.

Tuesday is the season premiere of This Is Us which feels very triggering for me. Sure I’m going to miss watching the show with mom. We watched it every Tuesday together and if we didn’t watch it together we would text about it. But starting a show without her is nothing new. I have had to go through three housewife franchise seasons without her.

But This Is Us is different because I can remember vividly the night we watched the season finale together. It was March 24th and I know this because that was the last solo text exchange we ever had. That was the last night she was ever in the first floor of her beautiful home. That was the night that I knew it was the last time we would we would ever watch this show together. And with the exception of some New Amsterdam reruns while she laid in bed that was the last time we ever watched TV together.

And this may sound crazy to focus so much about watching TV with someone. But it was one of OUR things. Something that simply can’t be replaced. The bond we had of over analyzing fictional characters and housewives. It was our fun and way we would escape from our own reality and honestly I miss it a lot.

Six Months

It has been six months since mom died. I have cooked, I have arranged flowers, I have obsessively painted my nails and then anxiously peeled the polish off. I have laughed. I have felt numb. I have felt the unbearable weight of my grief.

I have reread text messages just to feel like we are having a conversation again. Moms go to phrase was “ok honey” and I have texts on my phone dating back to July 2018 so I simply type “ok honey” into the search bar and pick a date and go back in time.

I now listen to yoga nidra guided meditation every night to relax and fall asleep and thankfully it works even if I need to work through it twice.

I have recounted her death so many times to really anyone who listens (apologies to anyone who had to suffer through it) but I feel like it’s what my brain needs in the moment so thank you to anyone who has listened to me tell it.

I miss her everyday and the degree of which I miss her changes. Somedays I’m doing so well that in that moment I feel something might be wrong with me and then sure enough with time the major wave of grief crashes. I know everyone’s grief looks different but this is a snapshot of what mine has looked like these past 6 months. With cancer it was a rollercoaster but there was always opportunity for change so the permanence of all of this weighs heavy.

I am thankful for my sweet Julian who has helped me more than he will ever realize. And I am thankful for my dad, lex and B and all the people that have shown us so much love.

Finished the Project

I started the project of painting my house Labor Day weekend 2019. I bought the paint for the kitchen in October 2019. Mom asked me as she laid on the couch, “When are you going to paint the kitchen?” I told her when she was gone. We both agreed it would be a good project for me to have to distract myself from my grief. We were planners like that.

So this weekend I started it and I finished it. I knew by choosing to do it once she was gone it would both be a good distraction but also weigh heavy on my heart. Mom was the project queen. I am not. I’m more the wake up one day and decide to paint the house and then take a very long time to do it. So whenever I took on a project like this she was my biggest cheerleader. With the “That looks great honey.” and “Doesn’t it feel good to have that done”. Honestly, she thought I was going to paint one wall when I started this whole thing and that would be that.

So today I finished. All the walls have been painted. And as I looked at my final product I felt proud and I missed her so much. And this is just our reality now. Things are going to happen. Good things are going to happen and we are going to wish she was here in body to celebrate them with us. I mean I’m sure she was with me every step of the way cringing from the heavens at my technique wanting to take the roller out of my hand but I also knows she’s proud and I take comfort in that. 💜

Diary of a Mother

Friday was the first time I had been at the house during nightfall since mom had passed (well second, the night after she died I went there and had a panic attack). I have been there plenty of times during the day. Night time was our time. I would go there and we would catch up. We would watch our shows. We would overanalyze life. We would overanalyze the lives of the people on our shows. It was OUR time.

I wasn’t thinking of that when Julian and I went there. But as we walked into the sunroom I began to cry. I looked at the couch where she would be and she wasn’t there. I’ve looked at that spot on the couch multiple times a week since she’s passed but it felt different at night.

Julian asked if I was crying and I shook my head yes. He asked “Mimi?” And I shook my head yes.

And then I sat in her spot and he sat in mine and we had this wonderful conversation. We talked about our feelings and missing her and life. And then we went and played with his toy kitchen for about an hour. It was exactly what my heart needed in that moment.

I didn’t post on Mother’s Day. I couldn’t post on Mother’s Day. Saturday I broke down and Sunday I was just numb. And tonight I just miss her. So I decided to go through my photos which has become my go to as well as reading old texts. And I discovered this video my phone had made of some of our adventures to Disney. We did/do not live a perfect life. We argued in lines and we got annoyed at dinners. But the thing about cancer is it puts you on the clock. So we spoke our piece and we got over it and we loved each other to the absolute fullest. So if they have social media in heaven…I love you mom and thank you for taking us along on all these Disney adventures 💜✨

Questions

When my Papa Joe died he took Papa’s Cheese with him. It’s been almost 22 years and I have no idea what kind of cheese Papa’s Cheese was and it was delicious. My Grandma Carole took her sugar cookies with her. We have the recipe and we can never make them like she did.

A week after mom died (still so weird to say that) or maybe the week of. I don’t know it all kind of runs together. Anyways dad got a taste for spaghetti sauce. And I could not remember what the second green spice mom put in the sauce was. I could remember oregano but not the other. Dad thought maybe basil but that didn’t sound right. And then I thought maybe thyme and that didn’t quite seem right either. We found Grandma Dar’s old recipe which mom adapted into her own and it listed parsley. So maybe parsley was it. But we will never truly know because we can’t ask her. And that’s really hard.

Mom had planned for her death for a very long time. Really since her diagnosis. So she told us a lot of things and I would write it down but there were things I didn’t write down. Like she told me there was something at some point in the armoire but I can’t remember what. I thought she had written in the front cover of “On The Night You Were Born” for Julian and Jaxon but I guess she didn’t. And I thought at some point she bought birthday cards for either me or Lex & B because they share a birthday month and she plans ahead. But I can’t remember when she said that. It may have been last year and she lived so maybe we already got the cards.

Anyways this is just a long winded way of saying I’ve got questions and the lady with the answers is up in heaven.

Also if someone tells you something type it into the notes section of your phone. You’ll thank yourself later.

Some Thoughts & Feelings

I’ve written 5 blog posts within the past week that are just sitting in my drafts. They are all versions of the same. Something happens and I miss my mom. Julian lost a tooth, Jaxon is taking steps and Brandon has a new song out and about a million other things we want to tell her. Julian tells me she knows and she sees it all. He is a wise 6 year old and his kind heart is his saving grace when we are arguing about schoolwork. And that reminds me of mom. Everyday the last couple weeks of her life I would leave to go do schoolwork with Julian. And when I would get back she would ask how it went (not well). And she would smile and say “he’s just like your brother” and go back to sleep.

Everyday is about the same. Moments where I’m busy and I forget. And then moments where I’m sad and I remember. And then there is nighttime. Like it’s 1:15am and that’s when I write. Because I can’t sleep. Because I just sit here and think “I can’t believe she’s gone”. And I really can’t. I sit here and think of how permanent this is. And that when I go to the house tomorrow she still isn’t going to be there. And it’s just the strangest thing.

I’m Lost

I’m lost. I’m lost in two different ways. My therapist once told me that a piece of me would die when my mom died. And this is true. There is a hole in my heart. But there is also a hole in my brain.

I spent nearly 4 years worrying about her. Worrying about whether chemo was working and blood counts and surgery and whether she would and when she would die. And now she’s gone. And there’s this hole in my brain that was occupied with this constant worrying and it doesn’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.

The last few weeks of her life were truly heartbreaking. To watch the strongest person you know lose every last bit of their independence is devastating. She was a lawn mowing, room painting, remove a railing while her husband was at work force of nature. And to watch her frustration as she couldn’t take a sip of water was devastating. And the mental aspect became just as hard as she didn’t know the word for water or even at points that it was me sitting with her.

So yes, when I write those things or say those things I am relieved for her that she is no longer suffering. I’m just not quite sure what to do.

I read our old texts. And I read our family group texts. As I do I can hear voice. And it makes me smile and it makes me laugh because she was funny. And I’m sharing all of this because I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. And I know if she could she would be texting me and say maybe you should try writing a blog like she had so many times before.

💔

This is the blog I never wanted to write and yesterday was a day I never wanted to live. I am heartbroken to share that yesterday Mom passed away. It honestly feels so strange to even type those words. Just as it feels insane to me to wake up this morning and know she’s no longer here. And I know she’s in a better place and I know it’s better that she’s not suffering. But I just miss her so much.

She’s Amazing 💜

Today I looked down at mom as she laid in bed and told her I was sorry that she was going through this. She looked up at me and said “It’s ok honey, there are people that have it worse”. She hasn’t eaten in days and needs assistance doing basic tasks and yet she’s still thinking of others.

I don’t know why I’m surprised though. That’s how she has been through this whole thing. Don’t get me wrong she’s cried and been upset. But somehow she would always dig her way out. So many of her doctors and nurses over the past few years have complimented her sense of humor and the way she’s handled all of this.

She is amazing. And she would want you to know my dad is amazing too. She has dubbed him Superman over these past couple months. And he truly has been.

Thank you for all your love and prayers! 💜