So crazy to think you’ve been gone 25 years as of yesterday. I was 15 when you passed and I remember having a full day of babysitting that summer morning. I shot up like an arrow out of bed asking dad, who I heard pacing in the hall way, what time it was. He poked his head in my door and said “Cortney, your mom passed last night." My first thoughts were, no, no way, he’s joking and then I clearly remember thinking, really Cortney he wouldn’t joke about that. I jumped out of my bed and in to my dads arms where of course we just cried. I asked where my twin sister was and he said she was still sleeping. I ran down the hallway and woke her up with the news, of course we sobbed.
My mom suffered from ALS for two years, yes, the cold water being dumped over your head Facebook challenge disease. This is a very crippling disease and she was finally free, her body not in pain any longer.
The hard part is this, we were raised to be strong kids, to suck it up, go to church and make it look nice on the outside while hurting on the inside. I understood the logic being this loss, yes, she was in a better place no longer crippled with her disease, but I wasn't feeling anything. We did have a few people ask us if we needed to go talk to someone or work through the loss with a counselor. I said no, my sister said no but as an adult today wishing someone had said you know what, I hurt too and I’ll sit by your side and go with you. This could have saved a few bad choices from being made and years wanting to numb the pain. There are four of us girls and i’m sure we all can recount that morning as if it was yesterday but from our different perspectives with the stories all being a little bit different.
This isn’t a woe is me posting but a posting for other adults out there to help your children, family or friends to heal. Talk about the hurts even if it hurts. There is strength in this. It is not weak to cry or to feel your feelings.
I am so grateful to trust without a doubt that my mom is with me, with my sisters, and all of her grandchildren. I am grateful that I see the signs and symbols when she is around. One of my favorite memories was helping my mom move my oldest sister into college and into her first house. I carried boxes and helped mom make food, load her fridge and just nurture her. She would take her care packages when she was sick and I just thought this was the coolest thing. This has been something I've missed. Having that mom just walk through my home and do all the decorating, cooking, and nurturing stuff. However, over the course of the last few weeks my eldest just moved into her new place and as I stood in her kitchen the other evening washing her dishes, I stared out the window and with such sweetness I realized hey “Cort, you are here in your daughters first apartment, which her father did a beautiful job remodeling, and nurturing and loving her." This is what loosing my mom and many others in my life has given me, the gratefulness to not let the sweet little moments pass without recognizing them and cherish it all along the way. Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you. Talk about the hurts, talk about the hard stuff, the good stuff and love, love, love them. Thank you mom for showing me how to love my girls.
Love you mom ~ Cort