A Touch of Sorrow

September has always been rough for me.  I’m one of those people who gets sad when it gets dark and cold outside, which is one reason why I moved to Texas.

But lately, there is so much more melancholy in my life.  My father’s birthday was September 10.  Even though he died years ago (he was diagnosed with cancer when I was 26 years old) I can’t help but think of him each fall in particular.

My parents joking around

My parents joking around

And then, of course, there’s 9/11.  My father sat in his office in Union Square and watched the whole sickening event play out while my mom and I watched on TV.  He wasn’t supposed to be at work that day, but didn’t want to go with my mom and me to the lawyer to write up the will for his pending demise.  He wanted to escape thoughts of death and ended up being literally surrounded by it.  We were all changed forever.

But now I have a new flashpoint for grief.  My mother passed away in May and I find myself mentally rewinding to this time last year when she lived with us and was going through chemo.

On this day last year, it was Grandparents Day.  Do you remember that?  Do you remember Grandma coming to school and eating lunch with you? I’ll ask my kids.Lisa-henry-mom

My son is six and he’s fixated on understanding death and heaven.  If Grandma is in heaven, then why are you sad, Mommy?

You’re right, I shouldn’t be, I say.

Maybe I’ll go to heaven and visit her.

No! You stay here on Earth with me, I say and smile, but it’s a fake smile that doesn’t reach my eyes and he knows that.  How can I explain heaven?

My mother has boxes and boxes of things from her house that we never unpacked and are stored in my closet.  Some days I’ll go through a box and try to get through it quickly, giving away items to Goodwill or discarding broken memories.  My daughter will see something in the donation bag and pull it out.

Why are you giving that away?  It’s Grandma’s hat.

Mom in her chemo hat

Mom in her chemo hat

Because Grandma only wore that hat when she was sick and I don’t want to remember her sick.  I want to remember what she was like the rest of her life.

Our trip to Vegas

Our trip to Vegas

Don’t throw it away! my son interrupts and then he starts to cry, probably because most of his memories are from when she was sick and that’s how he remembers her.

I try not to write about it, because it makes me so sad, and I want my blog to be a positive place.  But death is part of life; so is sadness sometimes. I’m at an age now where some of my friends have lost a parent too and I see them post things online about missing their mother or father from time to time, so I know I’m not alone.

Even though I feel very alone some days.  A new family resides in my childhood home.  They’ll never see the marks on the wall where we measured our growing bodies.  And I’ll never get to listen to the cicadas chirping outside my bedroom window on a summer night.

Both my parents are gone.  And even though I’m 41, a grown woman with a husband and kids, there are some days you just need your mom.  You need your dad.

Tomorrow starts a new month and it will be filled with work, and plans and fun activities, but today, this last day of September, I’m allowing myself to feel a little bit of sorrow.

Lisa

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two. Her book, “She’s Losing It!” is available at Amazon.com (and has a 5-star review rating!)

Available at Amazon.com

ShesLosingIt.com (c) 2015 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

 

 

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Showing 8 comments
  • Christine Butler
    Reply

    Sorry to hear that you lost both your parents so young Lisa. My husband Mark, lost his dad to skin cancer in April this year, he was the most kind and wonderful father and grandfather, he always made me feel special and part of the family. I loved how he championed my kids too and now he has gone. His death brings sharp focus to my life and makes me sit up and take notice of what I and my family are doing with the time we have left………….I agree that sometimes we have to feel the downside of life, and it helps us to really feel the bright moments and appreciate them even more.

    • Sheslosingit.net
      Reply

      Thanks, Christine. I’m sorry for your loss too. I agree with you – dead is a poignant reminder that while we are on this earth we need to live life to the fullest.

  • Cindy Vatter
    Reply

    As you know Lisa, Henri and I lost our
    Mom when she was 49 and finally enjoying her life without raising kids. It was extremely hard on all of us, but very hard on me. I lost my job because of my pregnancy leave, and she died exactly one week after I gave birth to her only grandson. She wanted a grandson more than anything. Each granddaughter was great but “where’s the grandson”. As soon as the hospital said I could leave with him, we raced up to see her. Labor was traumatizing as there were complications and he was born dead. Fortunately the revived him and at the same time I remember thinking I don’t even know if my mom is still alive! She got to hold him and cherished ever moment of that hour. Although she didn’t want any pictures because the cancer had turned her into skin and bones. After we left, she allowed herself to go and slipped into a coma for 1 week. I will never stop missing her or the “what would have beens”. The silver lining is I know without a doubt that she watches over all of us and our kids and that she is reunited with her love ones. This is a temporary place for all of us and ultimately we will all see each other again. She is free of the body that caused her so much pain and she is free of worry. Your parents will forever be together without bodily restrictions and are watching over you and the kids. Nothing can take away your memories and the love they gave you! Rejoice in knowing that!

    • Sheslosingit.net
      Reply

      Thanks, sis. Cancer is so awful. I can understand not wanting pictures of that time. It’s such a devastating disease. I’m glad she got to hold Austin. My mom waited for Rylee to make her First Communion. She wasn’t able to go to church – she had a blood clot and couldn’t walk – but she saw Rylee in her dress and died a few days later. Henri and I joked that your mom and my mom would be in heaven playing slots and laughing at us. 😉

      • Cindy
        Reply

        They sure are! Probably cracking up at our kids and the things they do, and the grandkids. Those two are gonna cause trouble up there with their hysterics at us! So glad she got to see Rylee’s communion. I can only guess how important and meaningful that was for her. Its so good the kids got to live with her and have all those forever memories. Austin and Katie have no memories of my mom except what I’ve told them.

        • Sheslosingit.net
          Reply

          Yes, Henri and I having been saying that this last year, while hard on us, was something that was so wonderful for the kids. They only ever saw my mom twice a year (Christmas and summer) so I feel really blessed that they had the opportunity to actually get to know my mom.

  • Karen
    Reply

    Sending {hugs} during a difficult time.

    • Sheslosingit.net
      Reply

      Thank you, Karen

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