Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Running Out of Time

In a couple of days, it will be the 39th anniversary of my mother's death (mom #1, obviously not my mom who died last fall). She was 31 years old and left behind an 11-month-old and a 4-year-old. When I was growing up, all of my pity was reserved for myself: poor me, my mom died and my dad married an ogre; if my REAL mom were alive she would buy me Calvin Klein jeans; I'm sure if my mom had lived, we'd get along famously...I'm sure you can imagine the rest.

It was only after becoming a mother myself that I felt a huge well of sadness for my mother. Now my pity is all for her. Her own mother died when she was two, so she knew what it would be like for my brother and me. I remember when R turned four -- all I could think about was how much she needed me and that if I died, she wouldn't remember me. If I found out today that I was going to die, knowing that C would barely remember me would be the absolute worst part for me.

I think the anniversary of my mom's death combined with a comment a fellow blogger made (Isabelle) about thinking we will do all of the things we want after we retire, along wtih having several friends and relatives fighting cancer came together in my subconscious the other night to produce the most realistic dream (well, nightmare) that I've had in ages. I don't remember much about it except that I found a lump somewhere, went to the doctor, and was told I had a month to live. I can't even describe the towering rage I felt when he gave me the news. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, "This is what I get for trying to escape the family curse of cancer! It didn't even do any good!" (In 2001, I had a bilateral mastectomy after finding out I had the BRCA1 gene) I felt such dark despair about leaving my girls.

I think it's definitely time to start DOING some of those "someday" things, so T and I are planning a trip to Disney World. I don't want to put it off and put it off until it's too late.


Cyn said...

{{{hugs}}} My grandfather told DH that the one regret he had was to not travel with my grandmother when they were younger - they kept waiting until retirement and then waiting for something else and then she got Alzheimer's and they weren't able to travel. That's why we travel so much now, because we don't want that regret of having put something off now.

Let me know if you want / need any info about Disney World trip planning - it's one of my favorite topics, ya know!

Cindy D.

Michele T. said...

Your post really hit home with me today. I've had all those thoughts through the years with my own battles but this week has been particularly rough with news of 2 friends from support groups dying (from cancer- 1 from my OTG group and one from my cyber group) and 2 other friends who have taken a turn for the worse (also from my OTG cancer support groups, but one in particular I am very close to and she is a single mom with a 16 year old daughter). I know you have talked about your mom's death before but I don't think I knew how young you really were. It really touched me to think of all you have been and are going through.



Isabelle said...

Oh dear, WMC, I'm so sorry to have given you a nightmare. And I'm so sorry about your poor mum. You're quite right - knowing one was going to leave small children must be terrible. But I'm sure she'd be very proud of you and how you've turned out.

The person who died had an unexpected heart attack, not cancer, if that makes it any better. (It probably doesn't.)

Sympathy and hugs from me too.