Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Warm Woolen Blanket and What It Means to Me

On February 24, 1985 I awoke on a Sunday morning to find an extra blanket on my bed. It was one of those Hudson's Bay Company signature blankets. It was ivory with 1 thick green strip and 1 thick red one on one end of it. I knew immediately what the significance of the blanket was. I was 13 at the time, so we were long past the time in a child's life when parents routinely tuck you in before settling in themselves. But I was not in a routine situation. That blanket was there because someone came in to check on me. The only reason someone would do that is if Mom died while I was sleeping. I saw her on Saturday afternoon and it was quite clear that she had very limited time left here with us. Her battle with cancer lost.

Here I sit 23 years later (after getting up to dry my eyes that is) thinking how much I miss her still. She was 38 years old. I remember her sitting my brother and I down in the living room one night to talk. She looked at us and said "I am so sorry this is happening". I said "Mom, it's not your fault." and it certainly wasn't. I have grown to understand what she meant after having children of my own. I look at them every day and thank god that I am healthy and well and able to be a mother to my beautiful boys. I am turning 37 on my birthday. I do not have cancer. I do, however, get my annual exams and encourage everyone else out the to do the same. It could make a difference in your life.

I have had people ask me some silly questions over the years when I say my mom had cancer like...well did she smoke? Do only smokers get cancer? Absolutely not. Don't bother me with your silly questions. Actually, she had Uterine cancer. She was on and off sick for about 3-4 years at least but had long periods where she was able to still work and stuff. She stayed at home until about a month before she passed. At that time, I went to live with family friends as was the wish of my mother. My brother went to live with our father for just a few months to finish high school and all of that. He went into university dorms, then was on his own for the most part. We have always been tight. (well, we talk much less frequently right now but hopefully I can change that)

I think about her every day. I have found that since getting separated I think of her even more because our lives took similar paths and I mourn the loss of our relationship. I have a little card box of letters that my mom's friend sent me. It is so cool to read letters that she wrote to a friend. Just get a little idea of what she was like socially. My mother is a perfect angel, see? She could do no wrong in my eyes. I believe we would have had a good relationship. I believe she would have been very involved in the lives of my children and that they would have spent a lot of time getting to know her. I believe that she would be my closest friend and biggest support. I believe that things happen for a reason.

I feel very sad today. I think I'm going back to bed for a little while.


Princess of the Universe said...

I know exactly how you feel:

Tracy Michelle said...

I love you so much Princess. As much as I recent my mother for so many things, I'm so grateful for the things that couldn't be replaced... relationship... no matter how twisted.
You are the strongest woman I know and I'm happy for you that through all the hard and unhappy memories, you can find happiness when you think of your mother. :o)

Anonymous said...

Hugs go out to you today. My mom had cancer a couple of years ago and believe me, it truly had me scared.

I'll be thinking of you.

the princess said...

princess of the universe~~i read your post. it made me cry. when i first checked out your blog i felt we had some traits in common. hmmm...big hugs right back to you. i would have liked to write more but i got all upset and flustered. maybe on her bday i can do more.

tray~~love you for reading on this day. i will talk to you this weeek.

suze~~thank you so much, and i am so glad that your mother survived. i tell my boys how much better the medicine is now compared to the 80's

Mommato2 said...

Hey there....a beautiful post to your Mom. It is weird....I was just getting to know you when you came to live with Eve and you lost your Mom, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a very scary event to a bunch of teenagers and I remember being in awe at how you handled everything...even back then you were strong.

Like you say, now that we have children of our own, we can not imagine how hard that must have been for your Mom.

BIG HUGS going to you.


sid said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. Its nice that you have letters from her to remember her by.

WendyB said...

So sorry about your mom. She was so young. Your post is lovely. I understand why people ask about smoking though. Cancer is so scary. People are desperate for any reason to think maybe they are safe since they do or don't do XYZ.

Kelly said...

It sucks that she isn't here anymore; mostly for you.
I sometimes said to Steve how there were times that I felt like my mother might as well be dead (I'm passed that now, though) but he quickly set me straight. Good, bad, whatever, that relationship is needed. Its absence creates a void that I never want to experience.
Lots of love.

Catherinette Singleton said...

Wow, this is really something. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope the memories of her keep you warm.

the princess said...

tara-lynn~~yes and you were a very supportive friend which helped me alot. thank you for saying i dealt with it well. sometimes I feel in my own mind like i don't, but overall i have done ok for myself :)

sid~~i love that I have those letters! i got them when i was still in highschool, so I have been able to read them at various points in my life.

wendyb~~you are so right. it is so scary and people always want to think that they are "immune".

kelly~~hugs for you because I know your struggle with your mom. believe me, if she weren't there, you would notice.

catherinette~~thank you for your kind words. yes, the memories do keep me warm. i labeled some posts under "my mother" if you want to see what she looks like.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

Darlin.. cherish the memories and hold them close. There are those of us who have nothing but bad memories of our mothers and YOU are one of the lucky ones who obviously had a great one.. one that people like me can only dream of...

Rest, heal and then go out and do great things in her memory!


Eve said...

I love you, my sister.

LADY said...

Beautiful post.