Monday, January 06, 2014

Fare thee well 2013 - I hated you.

Hate is a strong word.  When we were growing up, if we said we hated something, my mom used to say "You don't hate, you dislike"  ...
We always had fun with that one. I'd say "Yeah, well I really dislike this/that an awful lot".

Even though I titled it as such,  I may not have hated 2013 entirely. There had to be some memorable moments about it and there were.
 Good memories, like Mother's Day at Smithville with my sister, niece and Mom.  Even though it was marred a little by an emotional Mom expressing her fears about dying and a story she'd seen on the news about a woman who had an encouraging tale about her lung cancer treatment.
etc.   I tried to nip that in the bud; the fear and the tears.
 I just wanted her to enjoy the day.  From the time of Mom's diagnosis (and even before- because we knew what we knew)...  I treated every holiday/birthday as if it might be the last.
 Mom's days were usually busy with radiation in the beginning and then chemo once the radiation treatments were through, coupled with regular doctor's visits, lab work, scans..  etc..  She never got a break, except on the weekends.  It was then that she wasn't distracted by the hustle & bustle and had time to just worry for hours on end.   So, yes, I wanted to talk about anything but CANCER on Mother's Day, with her.
I'm so hopeful that 2014 will be a good year, I'm almost convinced that I can will it to happen.   Mom shuttered at the number 13 -   So it's even more ironic that 2013 was such a shitty year for her AND her services were on the 13th of the month.   I get it now, Mom.   

I don't want to recant a year that was nothing but fear, anxiety and uncertainty.  But it did seem like it all happened so fast.   It was July 2012 when my brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer, then he had his emergency surgery on July 5th, which, one year later in 2013, was the same day Mom went into cardiac arrest at the same hospital.  
She died on July 10th.    So, there you go, July... I hate you too.  I mean, I dislike you.  A lot.  I know it wasn't just me or my family that had a terrible year.  There are blog friends who had an awful year, and at work?  Forget it.  I think I brought the black cloud with me.   So many losses, sickness, health scares, etc.    I guess when you work for a big company, those things are more apparent, but it has been crazy.   Someone lost his wife, I lost my mom, someone lost her husband and recently, a coworker lost his dad.   It seemed to be a year of pure hell.   My coworkers and I all agreed that it was trying and difficult but we made it through.  TOGETHER.

After Mom passed, I spent the remainder of 2013 on an emotional rollercoaster, that I am definitely still on.  It was tough getting through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas without her.   I have to be honest in telling you that the hardest holiday for me was.. Halloween.   I was driving home from work and saw the droves of kids trick or treating and I lost it.  I knew my sisters and nieces were meeting me at home and I was such a sobbing mess.   Thank God they weren't here yet.  I kept telling my husband I couldn't make sense of it.   Halloween?    But then again, Mom loved Halloween... We always loved it, even as kids.   Then when my niece came along, Mom's first grand child, it was an even bigger deal for us.  Each year, my sister, Mom, my niece and I would all go out trick or treating.  It was one of those things that brought such joy to Mom and we made sure it happened. 

I realize that 2014 will be the first FULL year without Mom in my life & I don't know how the days will go.   I won't get a Valentine's card or an Easter card, no birthday card.. She used to stay up until midnight to text me on my birthday.  She never missed it.    There will be a lot of firsts... But I will get through it the best I can.   This may sound crazy but, because I'm convinced that Mom is always with me, I try so hard not to cry about missing her, because I feel like it will make her sad.  My mom never liked seeing us hurt.   I often didn't tell her things because she felt it ten times more than I did.  Her heart would break for mine.    She didn't like to see any of her kids hurting.  Even when my Mom was battling cancer, she was concerned about MY health.  I guess that's just what a Mom does.  Not everyone's that lucky, so I do appreciate it and always did.

If I knew that 2012 was the last FULL year I spent with Mom, I would've really made it remarkable for her.   I did throw her a 60th birthday party that summer, and I know it made her day.  It was small, but it meant so much to her.    

I want 2014 to be a year of new beginnings & good health.. and I know that I am the beholder of those things happening.   I have to put the negative things behind me and hold on to the good that came out of them.    Because, friends, there really were good things.  My family saw major breakthroughs that really helped heal my heart, even if temporarily.    I think I finally got people to see that there aren't always second chances and you don't always get to say what you meant to say.
In the summer, there were giant steps made & then on Christmas day?  It might have seemed like a small gesture to my brother, but the joy that my heart felt outweighed any gift that I've ever received.     It was a gift that could only be FELT and it was the best, ever.   See, my dad and my brother have been estranged for a while now.   My brother and I haven't; we're very close, in fact.
So, I  reached out to my brother and asked him to come to Dad's for breakfast on Christmas morning.   I asked him to at least think about it.  Well, he came... and it was an emotional time for everyone, I think.  My dad was so visibly happy.   Maybe, just maybe, it was a clean slate and life will pick up where it left off.

I know I'm going to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding -  I know that the year ahead can be prosperous and promising.   I know it will be hard, without my mom, but that void will remain as long as I live.    I just can't let it dictate my life or hold me down - I have to be strong.

Happy New Year to all my friends ~  May you have a fresh new start, lots of new memories and awesome beginnings.  
My goals are to be healthier, exercise more and blog more regularly!  Here's hopin'! 


  1. What a beautiful, raw post, Dawn.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to have something as heartfelt to contribute. But, I will say, you WILL pick up the pieces and start rebuilding. Not just because that's how life is, it goes on, but because I'm pretty sure from what you have written, your mother would be heartbroken knowing how sad and angry you are. And yes, it's ok to be sad and angry, but eventually, you have to get past that. And again, no doubt you will. It sounds like you are surrounded by so many wonderful people, and hopefully, sooner rather than later, it all gets easier. It won't hurt as much. You'll hear a song, or see a flower that reminds you of your mother, and instead of getting sad, one day you'll smile at the memory. It'll be her way of telling you she's ok... and that you will be, too.

  2. So I added your blog to my favorites folder when I finally figured out how to do this in December and because I added it from your post, "Sunshine Blog Award," every time I would go to your website from my favorite folder, it took me there. So I was thinking to, Dawn hasn't blogged in a while. Duh!! I had to "favorite" your main page so I could get your blog posts as present! So blonde of me...
    Well, you always manage to stir up deep emotions with your posts about the loss of your mother. Because I practically grew up with you and your sisters as children, I know how close you all were to her. I can't imagine what it feels like to lose someone... but I do know how it feels to come pretty damn close. I know she is watching you... protecting you... and wanting you to do everything you possibly can in this life to be happy. She knows how extraordinary you are and all that you have to offer to this world so her energy, I'm sure, is always gleaming around you.
    I think you have a great outlook for 2014 and I really hope all of your wishes and dreams come true. The only limitations we have are the ones we set for ourselves. So move beyond the impossible and remember; anything is possible!


Hi, thanks for YOUR thoughts on MY thoughts! Happy reading!