My mom was basically an alcoholic my entire life. It wasn't until I got older that I realized she had a drinking problem. I was 13 when it became clear, more obvious. I grew up very quickly at 13. My father was diagnosed with brain cancer, initially given a month to live, dying 10 months later, my mom started drinking more heavily, her boyfriend became her focus, choosing him over us on many occasions, she got a DUI, the cops brought her home, life was getting more challenging. The older I got the worse it became. I begged my mom to stop drinking. I wrote her letters, gave her cards, encouraged her, supported her, loved her and it wasn't enough. It couldn't be enough because she was the one who needed to believe in herself, I couldn't save her from herself. But at 13 how was I supposed to know that? At 13 you want to be the reason they get sober. I felt I could save her back then, back before I knew the darkness she carried. The darkness that possibly
There was time when she got clean and sober. Stayed clean and sober for a year and a half. It was in that year and a half that I got to see what life was like with a mom. I didn't need to be the mom, I could be the daughter…I could be the daughter. Besides Mckenna’s 9 short months of life, that year and a half of my mom sober was the best time in my life. Life was still hard, life was still a struggle, but my mom was sober. She would make me dinner, we would watch movies, we would laugh so hard we cried, I would call her on my way home from work to stay awake, she made me lunches, she was my mom again and what a wonderful feeling it was.
I knew my mom very well. It was easy for me to know if she had been drinking the moment I heard her voice. I knew when she started drinking again. What a devastating moment that was. Many times I cried when I got off the phone, at a loss, angry, sad. I loved her, I wanted my mom back. Despite my love, my brother’s love it became clear that there was no coming back from her darkness. My mom reached a place in her soul that haunted her so deeply that there was nothing anyone could do to save her. I wish the system saw her as a human being, as a person who desperately wanted to get sober and stay sober. Not given her medication to "fix" the pain, the loss, the grief, the darkness. I wish she got the care she deserved. If she had someone to be with her in her pain, let her tell her story, sit with her in the darkness she might still be here today.
It is not easy to watch your mom slowly kill herself. I sat across from her about a week before her death. Her eyes filled with desperation, she was nervous, shaking, holding her hands together, had not showered in days, her feet were not taken care of (which was out of character for her), I left that day truly heartbroken, worried, I just didn't know what to do. I knew in my heart I was going to lose her.
Our last words spoken to each other were I love you. I called to check on her because she was not answering her phone. She answered, she was sober. I could tell she was not doing well. I asked if she needed me to come over, she said no. She said I have been meaning to call you and let you know I was alive and well. When I knew that she was not well. We said I love you and hung up. I cried. She was sober and did not want me to worry about her. 2 days later I found her dead.
The day I found her I remember so clearly just wanting her back. Truly nothing else mattered, I wanted my mom. I needed my mom.
The second anniversary of my mother’s death is approaching. I can feel it in my body. It is hard to believe that she will be gone 2 years. I miss her more now than ever. Losing my mother has been the second hardest thing I have had to work through in my life. It has become the loneliest journey. How do you express the pain you feel at the loss of your mother, especially when you have lost a child? Do I have the right to say that her death is hard very, very hard? When you lose your parents, you lose the people who love you unconditionally, you lose your home, you lose a piece of you, your connection. I wish it was easier to describe this pain. My heart hurts, I feel lost the majority of the time, my purpose in life is questioned many days, I never knew losing her would hurt so much. Since Mckenna’s death life has just been challenging . I have joy, I laugh, I enjoy many things I never thought I would again, but some days I hurt so much missing them I just don’t know what to do with my pain.
Some may not understand, some may judge my journey. This is not guilt talking, this is just the pain of missing my mom. One day it won't be this heavy. One day it will shift, but right now I'm hurting at these memories. Right now I am just hurting..
I miss my mom, I miss Mckenna, I miss the family I once had. This time of year is hard for so many reasons. …A lonely journey it is.