Missing My Mom on Mother’s Day

I miss my Mom every day but it’s brutal missing my Mom on Mother’s Day.

I’ve been dreading this day: the first Mother’s Day without my beautiful Mom. It’s gut-wrenching, and even more so than I expected coming on the heels of losing my precious Luca just days ago. Honestly I don’t even want to get out of bed today. And I might not.

But I did want to honor my Mom with a blog post today. I’m still grieving her loss and it’s been nearly a year now. I’ve been working on a tribute post for her but I haven’t yet finished it. I’ve been really struggling with it actually and I’m not quite sure why. After my Dad passed I had his tribute up in two days.

I’ve run the gamut of emotions these past eleven months. At times I felt like a pinball being flung around aimlessly and other times I was just plain stalled out, incapable of moving. I was removed and withdrawn from friends, having no desire to engage with anyone at all; and then when I did engage, I often had outrageous reactions very uncharacteristic of the person I am. I was angry, I was depressed, I was sad, I was envious of people who still had their moms and the unfairness of it all was a burning sting.

I felt extremely guilty about not finishing the tribute post that I had started. I’m no stranger to procrastination, that’s for sure, but I’ve really felt enormous guilt for not completing Mom’s tribute, as if I were letting my Mom down by not posting it and I wasn’t honoring her in the way she deserved to be honored.

Self-imposed deadlines came and went (“I’ll post it at the one month anniversary of her passing,” “The three-month mark will be a perfect time to post it,” “The six month anniversary is coming up and I really need to get this done”…). The more time that passed the more guilt I felt. I talked to a grief counselor about it because I was truly baffled at how I just seemed absolutely unable to finish it, and at the same time how could I dare let her down like this and not honor my amazing Mom?

I’m glad I did talk to that grief counselor because I was able to at least quit beating myself up about it. He even said it wasn’t uncommon at all. How so? He said he often sees grieving people experience this same type of delay hurdle, like when one is not able to write the obituary or one can’t seem to order the headstone. He said it’s as if those things – and my tribute post – represent finality. An ending that can’t be reversed. Completing these things is like putting the period at the end of a sentence. Finality, like reaching that last word when you’re reading a great book that you don’t want to end.

I really got that. THAT hit home. So yeah, all this time has passed in these last eleven months and I haven’t been able to put the period at the end of the tribute sentence.

As today approached, I knew that Mother’s Day has forever changed for me. It will never ever be the same. Perhaps today, a day when people the world over honor their mothers, would be the perfect day to finally publish the tribute post for my Mom.

HOWEVER, yesterday I opened the Word document, started scrolling through it to see what else it needed to be complete and came to this realization: Holy Crap! This tribute is 11 pages long – and that’s without the photos! The word count at this point is showing to have 335 lines of text and nearly 6000 words! I can’t expect anyone to sit and read through all that!

So… I decided (this won’t surprise my blogging friends, I’m sure) to do a Mom Series. I’ll be able to share all that I want to share about my Mom, but just in smaller chunks. My Mom Series will be forthcoming.Today’s post is simply going to be a shout-out to my Mom and to all the amazing mothers out there.

I saw this on a Mother’s Day card and I really liked it:

When a mother says “I love you,”
she also means “I’d do anything for you.”
When she wishes you “Good night,” she’s saying “Your dreams are my dreams, too.”
And when she calls out “See you soon!” she’s promising
“I’ll be with you wherever you go.”

I miss my beautiful Mom so much! I talk to her all the time. And I sure hope the last line in that verse is true. I hope she is with me wherever I go. She is of course always with me in my heart, but I hope her spirit tags along with me too. There are so many times, several times a week, or a day even, when I find myself saying, “Mom, I wish you were here to see this!” or ”I wish you were here to do this with me.” or “I wish you could go with me today.”

Thankfully, my Mom is in my dreams often.

And those are the very best dreams.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you! 

 

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there!

Remembering Finnegan (Oct 19, 2005 – June 13, 2011)

fawn greyhound lying in the grass

Three years ago today my boy Finnegan made his transition to the big Rainbow Bridge in the sky. We had such a short time together, eight months only. When I adopted him, even before the adoption was finalized, I took him in to get a dental cleaning but during the examination, my vet told me that we wouldn’t be doing the dental that day because his lymph nodes were swollen. She didn’t like the feel of them and decided to do a needle aspiration. A few minutes later she came back into the exam room and told me the news: Finnegan had Lymphoma.

She was as devastated as I was. She told me that I might want to consider not adopting him because she didn’t think my heart could take losing yet another dog. I had just lost three in less than a year, two within six weeks of each other. It had been a grief-stricken year and she was concerned that one more loss might be more than I could bear. She said she really wanted to see me get a dog that I would have for years. As it was, Finnegan’s prognosis was one to three months.

But I refused to even consider getting another dog. I went ahead with the adoption so Finnegan would go out of this world being a family member and part of a loving home. We went on to treat the Lymphoma with steroids. Whenever he had a flare up his lymph nodes would swell and I’d take him to my vet; she’d give him a power shot of steroids, send me home with a prescription and a word of warning to get prepared because the end could be very soon. But we’d go home and I’d treat him with the prescriptions plus Fish Oil supplements and the swelling would go down and he’d return to normal within a day or two. And then we’d have a few more months of remission, until the next flare-up.

Instead of the one to three month prognosis, Finnegan and I had a fabulous eight months together. He had an amazing spirit! He was a young boy of five years and he had playful energy. He loved to play with the ball and the Frisbee in the yard. He’d toss the ball up in the air and catch it in his mouth, throw it down, make it bounce, catch it in his mouth then run laps of glee. I’d toss the Frisbee and he’d retrieve, run around with it, chew on it for a while and then bring it back for me to toss again. Inside, he loved his stuffy toys. Watching him play, no one would’ve ever guessed he was sick. He had a zest for life and he didn’t want to leave.

IMG_3883

I’m convinced that Fish Oil had a lot to do with the extra months we had together. My vet informed me that some studies had shown that fish oil had an effect on suppressing or slowing the growth of the lymphoma cancer cells. So I loaded him up on Fish Oil every day. Instead of giving him the recommended two to four capsules each day, I was giving him twelve to eighteen capsules every day. He loved them. I usually put them in his food but he’d take them right out of my hand and eat them like treats. He recovered from several flare-ups, against all veterinarian expectation, and I really do believe the Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules played a big role in those recoveries. That, and maybe the fact that he was loved so very much.

I miss you sweet Finnegan! You are forever in my heart. Until we meet again, may you be tossing balls and running on clouds. Remembering you today, and always.

FINNEGAN (aka Biker Boy):  October 19, 2005 – June 13, 2011