My oldest sister called me earlier today to remind me what day it was.
My mother died 20 years ago on June 30, 1989.
While I understand my sister's desire to honor our mother, that day (and it's memories) still hold so much pain for me.
I was the only one in the room the moment our mother passed away...a twenty year old girl, a sophomore in college, home for the summer, who had been told only three days earlier in a doctor's office that her mother was not going to get better and would be gone very soon. How soon, less than a week, was still a shock to us all. Nowadays one would have an easy time finding information on liver cancer on the Internet, but that was not the case back then. In my naive and young mind, she had already "beaten" breast cancer, so why should this be any different?
That morning, as her breathing labored, I really had no idea what was going on. I was alone and afraid. I wanted someone to explain what was happening and to hold me. However, that did not happen. As I panicked and cried, I missed the chance to calmly take my mother's hand, comfort her, let her know that everything was going to be okay, and tell her I loved her for the last time. I will always regret this even though I know that she knew.
That day was when I lost my sense of security...my belief that there would be someone to take care of and to comfort me.
Today, June 30th 2009, my mother has now been out of my life exactly as long as she was in it and I feel as alone today as I was then.