Friday, February 12, 2010

Four Years Gone Is Four Years Too Long

My Mom is gone four years today, but I'm not writing 'Happy Anniversary'. I know I should for it is the joyful Anniversary of her going Home to God, but while I am happy for her, I'm not all that joyful for me today. I'm feeling very self-centered today.
I know this should be all about her, and I wish I felt that way, but I don't feel like writing about all her wonderful attributes that are now missing from my life.

I still miss her. The missing, the sadness, the hole in my life where she used to be, the emptiness,well, all that ~ it never goes away. It's just that the sadness, the missing her, the emptiness, the hole in my life that she used to fill, all that bad just starts to feel normal after awhile.

It's normal now to not hear her voice anymore, and not to ever hear her laugh. It's normal not to see her doodling sketches on a scrap of paper. It's normal not to hear her call my name. It's normal knowing she'll never walk through the front door again. My Mom and I will never lunch together or shop together, or call each other on the phone and that's all normal now. At one time it seemed unbelievable but now it's 'normal' to know I'll never see her in this life again. It's normal now to know I'll search a room of faces for her and not see her (and yet, there are times I still search for her while not expecting to find her). I'll never see her wearing one of her little berets again. I'll never see her in one of her tweed jackets. I'll never give her a bouquet of green carnations for St. Patrick's Day. I'll never see her smile at me again. I'll never hear her say the phrase, "Not to worry." I'll never watch her brew a pot of coffee, and I'll never hear her sing again. It's normal now to see someone far away that looks like her and not get a happy feeling inside like I used to, thinking 'Oh, there's Mom!", it's normal to instead feel a pang in my heart knowing it's not her. Yes, all this bad is normal now. But normal stinks.

I miss my Mom. I want her to know my grandchildren. I want to ask her what she thinks about plans that I have for this house that once was her home. I want her opinion on decorating, I want her opinion on paint colors and slipcovers. I want her opinion on life altering decisions too, I want her advice on problems, I want to vent to her, I want to tell her funny little things too that happened during the day, I want to ask her about potting and planting, I want to ask her about which outfit to wear, I want to ask her how she cooked her stew, I want to ask her about our family tree, I want her to tell me again about how she met my Dad and how they got engaged. I want her to tell me of their early years together, I want her to tell me about the day I was born, I want her to talk about the old house and the old neighborhood, I want her to tell me stories about my grandparents and aunts and uncles again. I want her to ask me if I want a cup of tea.
I want her.
I want my Mom.

I know I sound ungrateful. I know that if I didn't have this wonderful woman in my life there would be nothing to miss. I know that where there is great love there is great loss. I know that if my choice was to have her in my life for 52 years but then have to lose her to Alzheimer's my answer would be YES! Yes, let's do it Your way, God. I'll take that, it's a good deal! I know all this in my head. But today my heart does not want to listen to my head. Today I want 'normal' to go away.
Four years gone is four years too long.
Today I want my Mom back.

I know, Mom, that today of all days, I should be celebrating your life, I should be celebrating the woman you were and all you meant to me. I'm not in a very celebratory mood, Ma. Right after you left, I used to feel you all around me, I was enveloped in a warm love, but those moments are few and far between now. There's a kind of coldness now, and you feel so far away today.

So, I'll let this song say what I should be saying, for I do remember you and measure your life in 'Seasons of Love'.


  1. Good morning Eileen...I feel your ache for your mother as I have that same longing for mine and now there is no one who can even talk about my childhood and no one to ask any questions about the family as my whole family (the older ones) is gone and there are no brothers or sisters to talk about these things. Most especially, though, there is that special tie with a mother who is just always there for you with her kind ways.

    In my consolation group, they always talk about having to cope with the 'new normal' in our lives after we have lost a loved one...something so hard to adapt to because the good old reliable normal is gone!

    What helps me with the loss of my beloved mother and the earth shattering loss of my wonderful husband, Mario, is that I would NOT chose to have them back if they had to go through what they went through all over again as they sure would NOT want that.

    Guess it would sort of be like asking a child if they want to scrub floors on their hands and knees for 8 hours or have Disney World all to themselves, their families and their friends for a year! The sense of family unity in Heaven must be beyond words!

    I will pray for your day and that you will feel her love, especially as Valentines's day approaches,

    blessings and loving hugs,


  2. I, too, understand! I still have my mother, though she lives hundreds of miles away. I yearn to see her every year for that short period of time and treasure the moments. Right now I mourn the loss of a very dear friend. One I have traveled with, eaten with, shared secrets with. She will be gone three years Good Friday. As that is the day she passed my Good Fridays become even more poignant. She had an infectious smile, contagious zeal, and love of God and life. I, too, still have a void! God bless you abundantly!!! Cathy

  3. Eileen,

    My thoughts are with you today. To lose a parent is to lose your past. Our past is so very important.

    God bless you.


  4. I'm so sorry you are feeling sad...... If I could be with you now I wouldn't say a word... just give you a big,long hug. x


    Through your deep sadness I felt that this writing was a real celebration of who your Mom was to you in your life. Everything you miss is a wonderful quality, gift, honor, promise, loving testament to your beautiful Mom. I love who she is to you - was to you, will be to you forever. Oh my this is quite emotional. I feel your sadness intimately Eileen.

    Great song!!

    Love to you my friend

  6. Eileen, my heart goes out to you. If anyone knows how you feel, I do. I actually lost my mother at age 35, and though years have passed, I miss her just as much if not more today. Even before she died, what I missed (and had taken for granted) were her phone calls to me (we lived in different states). When she became ill, she stopped calling. I called her. I called her every day like she used to call me.

    Before she was ill, we sometimes talked several times a day, and we talked about silly things. After she became ill, we still talked several times a day but about serious things, like how she felt. After she had been through a lot with her battle against illness, she made the turn, and one day, she called me. It was like Lazarus being resurrected. It's funny because my best friend's mother told me she had been praying about Mama, and she kept getting this image of Lazarus. And that was the same image I had, a fact about which I marveled. God is good!

    I know what you mean, though, because as much as I was happy for Mama to be free of pain and to be with Daddy again and more importantly to be with the Lord, I felt like that hole in my heart/my life would not/could not be filled. I will tell you this. As time has passed, I have found that the only thing that can ever fill the holes in our leaky lives is God. He is the same -- yesterday, today, and forever. While all else fails, He stands.

    I don't hestitate to tell Him how I feel about everything, and He never hesitates to make me feel better. I call Him daily and chat. ;-) I actually take Him with me wherever I go -- shopping, shopping, shopping -- and it helps. It doesn't bring back all of those things we miss -- smiles, laughter, hugs, her saying to me, "Where is your faith?" etc. -- but it does add an extra, stronger dimension of love to my life. As the hymn and the scriptures tell us, "There is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be." If the whole world were to go to hell in a handbasket, God is still standing and still our father (and in a real sense, our mother, too!). He gathers His chicks under His wings, like a mother hen. When I miss Mama so much, I focus on that, and somehow, things are better, brighter. Do I still miss her? You bet! And I miss her the most when I'm going through times of stress, and then I dream about her. But in the interim of being with her again some day and you being with your mother, God is not only there for us through the Holy Spirit, but God provides us with friends in Christ who are there to comfort us.

    So you have a good cry today, Eileen, and you tell God how much you miss your mother, how much you adore her and want to hear her voice. And sooner than you know, the day will come that you will hear her again and see that smile. Each day is one step closer to our own homecoming where there will be no more tears, no more emptiness, no more sorrow, grief, or pain, no more illness, and instead, there will be joy unspeakable. Until then, we run the race, pressing toward the prize in Christ Jesus, leaky hearts and all.

    Love you much,

    Sheila :-)

  7. That was a very important step you took today, writing about how you feel. 4 years is just a short time to have lost someone as dear as a mom. My mom had early onset of alzheimers and I actually lost her twice. Went spent 4 years where she did not know my brother and I before she passed away. She would look right through me, I felt and never make a blink. Maybe I was deep inside her and she couldn't tell me. I like to think that. I like to remember her before that set in and just forget the last four years before she went. blessings to you and my heart is with you too. I am 72 now and at my age she was gone. I don't fell I will have alzheimers.

  8. I miss my mother too Eileen, it will be three years, June 4th. I find solace in reminiscing with my two sisters and the fact that all the members of our families sleep beneath quilts mother made. It's the small things that get us through the hard times.
    Love to you...wanda

  9. I think that the comment by Gail is awesome. You show such aspects that you learned or inherited from your mom and you share them with us. I am sorry you are sad and I am sending you a hug.

  10. Go ahead and cry an ocean, Eileen. You have described a very, very wonderful woman and a close relationship. I once heard that "tears are emotional stitches" and "tears are a language God understands." You words were an incredible tribute to your mother. I hope you are able to see all those wonderful qualities in yourself. I surely do - and I've never even met you face-to-face! The Apostle Paul said "when I am weak, then I am strong". YOU are a strong woman, Eileen--and even stronger for acknowledging your sadness and longing.

  11. Well as you know Eileen, the pain for me is still very raw. My mom would have been 73 a week from tomorrow. I am not looking forward to that day and am still very depressed most of the time. But one thing did strike me throughout your post. When you kept saying never, I kept thinking one day. One day we will see our mom's again. Just as they are seeing there mom's and grandmom's. I realize that it probably doesn't help the pain at the moment, but for me at times, it's all I have to hang on to. There's going to be one big reunion one day. This much I know.
    Love You, Di

  12. I can relate all too well to this post and your feelings. When my Mom first passed away, I was so happy for her to be rid of that Alzheimers body and to be on to better things on the other side of the veil. But as time has gone on the missing her has become harder and more intense. After reading your post I started thinking how usually grief gets better in time. But I think it's different when loosing a Mom. No one loves us as much and quite like she did. She is just someone who was always there for us. And it's tough not having her there anymore. I am so sad for you Eileen because I understand all too well. Please take care.

  13. I feel the same way about my mom Eileen, and what helps me is that I know she is with my son, my husband and my dad and they will all be there to greet me when its my time. I wouldn't want her to come back and deal with her cancer and heart disease but I would love to have her without it. God will reveal his mysteries to us in his time, so until then I will keep you in my heart and prayers. Stay well my friend and try to enjoy your weekend.
    Hugs to Jayden and Mia.......:-) Hugs

  14. Thank you one and all. I will come visit each of you at your blogs sometime over the weekend or during the week to thank you, but I just wanted you to know that your comments, understanding, support, and prayers all mean so much to me.

    I actually did start feeling more at peace as the day went on, and I had a fun afternoon with Jayden which always brings joy, as does your friendship. Thank you.
    Love to you all,

  15. Dear Eileen,
    I've not been opening my dashboard lately, so I didn't know you were back. But I have been missing you and your posts and your visits, so this morning I decided to check on your blog place.

    Wow, it was so good to see you've come back... but reading this heartfelt post did bring tears to my eyes.

    Yes, the missing never ends. You have written down such beautiful memories. She was a beautiful woman, so special, so classy. I can understand how your heart continues to long for her presence.

    Will be thinking of you today, Eileen.


  16. Dear Eileen, I am so sorry for your loss. Life is so difficult. I still think daily about all of the loved ones I have lost. Like you say it's a hurt that never really goes away. It's a good thing hat you wrote this post. I think it helps in some small way. One of the things that helped me was I used to write letters to my grandmother. I was only eleven when she died but it took me many, many years to come to terms with it. I used to write letters and address them to heaven. Then I would mail them. Today when I want to share something with my mother or grandmother I do it through my prayers. I ask God to let them know. It seems to help on some level. I will pray that you find peace. I'm so glad you are back blogging again. You were truly missed.

  17. Dear Eileen, Just wanted to say that you post touched my heart in so many ways. My Mom has been gone for 12 years this past November. And let me tell you that even 12 years later, it still has its down-side. However, if you are a Believer, in spite of the pain and sorrow we go through here on this earth, we have the promise of eternal life and you (and I) shall be reunited with those we've loved and lost in this world. This world is not our home, our eternal home is in heaven... and we will become reunited with our loved ones... for eternity. Eternity... that's a forever baby! I love it. Our grief that we feel is for ourselves.. because of our loss, we've lost the impact of that particular person in our lives... and miss it. But, I would not ever want to wish my Mom to be back here with me... because I know she was in so much pain in the end... but I would rather with that I could be in heaven with her. That way... well, I guess we would both be happy! :)

    Hugs, and good to chat...
    Penny Sue

  18. Eileen, I'm checking back in to let you know I'm sending warm hugs in your direction and all my love with them.

    See you when we both return! ;-)



  19. Hi my friend, I am so sorry you are feeling sad. I do know how you feel as it has been 24 years for me, and I still feel sad at times.I can tell you that feeling of missing my MOM does not go away. I think you just learn how to live with it.BUT,the memories never die,nor does the love in my heart that my MOM put there.With each day that passes I realize another trait-gift I have gotten from her, or should I say been blessed with. Everything I am is part of her. It was her who gave me my dream to have a store of my own from the time I was 5 years old. She also gave me my love of flowers,decorating , shopping and cooking. I do not look anything like her, but I have realized I am just like her where it really matters, in my heart and soul. My MOM blessed me with the greastest gift life has to give,A gift that never goes away and reminds me each and every day that she lives on in me...That gift is the ability to LOVE ,I mean really love from the heart and soul with no expectations of anything in return , the way she loved me, and still does. So my friend close your eyes and see her, feel that love she left you as it never goes away. You hang in there and know she is there for you when you need her.......

  20. Eileen, that was such a beautifully written post about your mother. Just beautiful. I agree..."normal" sucks.....BTDT (been there done that) and still doing it....

  21. My heart goes out to you.... there is such a love and longing in your words. You did celebrate her life, even though you thought you were being "self centered" - you weren't... it was a beautiful post... Brought tears to my eyes..