On February 27, 2005 I lost my mother. It has been the worst day in my life to date. I don’t think I’ll ever recover completely.
Every year in the month of February, like clockwork, I start to lose my mind. I get very weepy and sad, and cry all the time. I know it’s coming but I refuse to admit why I fall privately apart until I’m sitting alone looking at old photos or movies and miss her with a deep pain in my heart.
If the 27th is a work day, I always take a personal day and make the trek to Bloomfield to spend it with my father because I don’t want him to be alone and I don’t want to be alone. We hang out and bullsh** then head over to the cemetery to visit Mommy. Her grave is on a small hill under a tree to shade her from the sun (she always hated baking in the sun), but in the winter the ground is usually snow-covered and hard to trudge through.
When I go to visit on a cold, frigid day I can hear her yelling at me for coming out in the cold. I always hear a plethora of choice comments in my head when I think about her, visit her at the cemetery or do something really stupid. If you knew Phyllis, you know exactly what I mean. She was a straight-shooter and would tell it like it was – and if you didn’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask her.
This year her death anniversary falls on a Saturday so I’m free and clear to spend the entire day with Daddy and do our usual. I drive up to see him around lunch time and sometimes we have lunch and sometimes we don’t. If my dad is in a lunching mood (he usually likes to eat his homemade vegetable soup every day) he asks me to go to McDonald’s or Burger King for a nice, fat, greasy (yet yummy) burger and fries. My dad is not into anything fancy so getting something from Bobby’s Burger Palace is pushing it a little.
We have our grease-fest and head out to Glendale to visit my mother’s body (because I know her soul is somewhere else – but maybe for that day, she can be there). We stay for a bit and chat with her and fill mom in on all the happenings, but we’re careful not to stay too long in the cold because she would get mad. We drive back to the house and talk and putter around. We watch family videos and look at old pictures and reminisce. I always go into their bedroom and smell her light blue cupolina (knitted hat) that she wore, still laying on her pillow, and I catch a whiff, a slight smell of her that’s still hanging around the house 5 years later.
After a couple of episodes of Judge Judy we’re ready to order dinner from the Chinese place at the top of the hill where Channel used to be. We order shrimp toast, Harvest Chicken & Shrimp, steamed chicken, shrimp & veggies for me (it usually sucks) and maybe some other pickings. Daddy always insists on paying so I stopped arguing. Since my dad doesn’t believe in delivery, we pick it up. They always screw up our order and I get irritated but I enjoy my needed ritual.
I long to see her again some day and I know I would be completely devastated if I never did. Sometimes when I dream, like last night, Mommy is always in my dream but never stays around very long. It’s like she’s teasing me. My dad says that she’s probably busy up there and can’t visit too long because there’s too much to do. I think that’s hysterical but he makes a good point.
So, with that said, I can only hope to catch a glimpse of her or have a conversation with her in my dreams long enough to know she was there. I can hope that she’s okay and in no pain in Heaven. I hope she’s watching over our family as our guardian angel and then some. I hope she doesn’t see the stupid things I do and that she is not disappointed in me. I hope that she forgives me for the lousy things I did in the past. I hope she hears me pray to her morning, noon and night. And I hope that she will always consider herself MY MOTHER.