Thats what it feels like when your mother dies. It feels unreal. Because it’s the boogie man under your bed, that thump inside your closet, that phone call when you are doing something bad, that ride when your car breaks down, that reminder you need to see the gynecologist, that time you needed tampons, dinners, drinks, fights, hand holding, laughter at only what you and she know is really fucking funny and where everything god damned thing you have ever been or ever will be coming from-is from your mother who made you out of thin air inside her stomach.
I think back and wonder what would have been a good time to have my mother die. You know, sometime more opportune, easier to deal with-an easier time. I can’t think of one.
My mother died the year after I got married. I felt glad that she had gotten to know D and really liked him. I was glad that the last few years of her life I had made a conscious effort to do things with her, memories that made her happy, significant times that we shared with no one else.
But it’s not enough. All you want is one more day. One more hour. Five more minutes to tell them again how much you love them and to feel their hand on your cheek-I wold have even taken a slap for crying so much-if I could just have one more fucking second. One more time to erase all the bad things I ever said and to say them better, to win every fight we ever fought, to take back any mean thing I said, to tell her more often how pretty I thought she was, how much I needed her despite all evidence to the contrary, to smell her hair and feel it against my cheek.
One more day to be small and let her dress me, ground me, tell me to take out the trash, to help me shop for a dance dress, to take pictures of me, to watch me dance and sing, to hear my laugh at her jokes, to cook her a meal-all just once more.
I want her to see me as a wife. To be there when everything is falling to shit. To watch me mother and look on disapprovingly about something I am sure. To watch my children grow and change into people who would have loved her as fiercely in life as they do in her death.
I want her back and it seems impossible, even after 13 years this december, that she still isn’t here. The closer my birthday gets the more I want her. I’m almost 40 Mama. Where are you?