Friday, August 26

I Remember Her

It's been 70 days

I still remember the moment I was told your heart stopped beating and mine had to carry on.

I took Ethan to Basketball camp a few weeks ago (the same one I went to when I was his age).  Trying to hurry we were at each others throats the entire drive to Olds Alberta for no good reason.

When we arrived, registered and I finished getting him sorted and into his dorm room to stay for the week,  I was feeling exhausted and hoped that this camp and the responsibility of being away would help make him grow up a little, be more grateful.

As I walked out to the van to drive home, the thought crossed my mind that "I wonder if mom noticed a change in me after camp?" without thinking,  I picked up the phone to call her to ask, and just as fast as the thought came to me the realization that I could never ask her another question about my childhood hit me like a tidal wave, knocked the wind out of my lungs and made my hands shake.

I had to pull over onto the shoulder of the road many times that drive home to try and compose myself.

I was getting dressed the other day and put on moms sweater and shoes and just sat in my closet, crying, thinking how much she loved these shoes and how she loved to tell everyone she got them from Value Village.

 I can still smell her on the sweater. I will never wash it.

Please listen to this.

There is an constant, deep and merciless ache in my chest for everything that was lost. For everything that was changed that I had no control over. I hate this. I hate the feeling that I might never feel happy again like I use to. A part of me is permanently changed.

I hate that it keeps me awake at night.

Wanna know what it is that keeps me awake at night?

The thing that keeps me awake at night is this picture. The one I put at the top of this page. This picture was one of the pictures in my moms slide show at her funeral. My grandfather helped out one night and went through boxes and boxes and boxes of old pictures I brought up stairs (I was going to go through them the day I returned back to Chase to help finish planning everything) But before I could he did it for me.
It was so helpful, and kinda cool because the slide show was a true surprise for me. While I was sitting there, in the pew, watching the slide show and listening to the music, this picture that I had never seen before popped up on the screen.

It took my breath away.

A picture of my mom and I playing. I was only a few years old in it. Her smile looks so genuine and she looks beautiful, vibrant,  happy and healthy. I had no idea this picture existed. I have never seen this picture, ever. How did I not know a picture like this of my mom and I was taken?.... and If I didn't know about this simple picture, how many metaphoric oceans are there of things I don't know about my mother? That I will now never know about my mother. I want to ask her about this picture. What did we do this day? Why was I in a dress? But I can't, It's just over.

It's been a long 70 days, and at the same time it feels like only yesterday.

This picture is now on the fire place, where it will stay, so I can continue to remember her.



I am grateful for my hazel eyes.

I am grateful for my blemish free skin.

I am grateful for my chin and nose that matches hers.

I am grateful for this picture.


Unknown said...

This is gut wrenching to read. I was just given the news on Sunday that my dad is dying. His whole body is full of cancer. The thought of watching his strong body wither away is more than I can bare. I need a daddy. My mom needs her husband. Reading your raw emotions is a light to what I have in site for myself. I'm sorry Joelle. My heart breaks for you. And me.

Tara H said...

So sorry for your loss, Joelle. I lost my mom just over 3 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. So many times I want to call her...hear her voice, ask her a question, tell her about my day. Now I talk about her, my memories of her, what I miss about her, and what I wish I would have asked her. Thank you for sharing a bit of your mom with us...

LaRue said...

I was so sad when I learned of Jules passing, Joelle. My heart goes out to you,your family, Dawson and Steve. Jules was a very wonderful lady. My eyes fill with tears of sorrow for you all. I lost my Dad 9 long years ago and I still miss him. I wish he was here to ask questions, chat with, and enjoy a toddy with. I miss hearing him walk up my steps. Now, I talk about my Dad and the fun times we enjoyed together, memories that will never go away. I will keep them alive. Thank you Joelle for sharing. I hope our paths cross one day even if only in passing. I know I will recognize you....

Unknown said...

I was in the hairdressers today. I heard you on the radio and realised I haven't read your blog or heard you in a while. My friend lost her daughter a year ago today. I came to your blog and I read this. I feel your sadness. What you wrote is beautiful and real. It's exactly how my friend talks about her daughter. Her life will never be the same again. Thank you.