As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...
by Cappy Troy
Mom & Me
My mom died when I was 25. Well, chronologically I was 25. If you were to determine my age by how much I needed to be with my mother, how often I thought of my mother, the level of significance she had in my life and the amount of joy she brought me daily, then I was only like 9. I'm 36 now. I was just about to get married in the next 3 months and she died. That made for awkward wedding announcements and programs among other things. After she died, I started writing letters to her every night before bed. It was my way of communicating and telling her about my day the way I had for my whole life. I just found that notebook, more than 10 years later, and instead of curling up in the fetal position in a dark corner of my home doing the ugly cry, I thought I'd share them here. Before I do that, there are a few things you need to know about me, my relationship with my mom and my grief process.
My name is Cappy. Short for Cabell. I come from a long line of funny people. My dad is the "smartly" funny one, my brother the crazy/nasty funny one and I am the morbidly funny one. I am the queen of the dead mother joke. I will say that no one thinks I am as funny as I do. I never do the dead mother joke in front of my brother or dad, they don't like that. Everyone else is fair game. "Where do your parents live?" "My dad lives in Williamsburg, VA. My mom lives in Heaven." 'Why did you forget to bring the forks to the party?" "Oh, because I have a dead mother."
My relationship with my mother. It's easy to put someone on a pedestal when they're dead. My mom was on a pedestal most of my life. She was fabulous. I thought she was so cool. She was not cool. My mom sang to me every night, kept me believing in Santa until I was 12, brought me hot chocolate in bed on Christmas Eve every year until she died, convinced me that my lazy eye, buck teeth and near 6 in. long big toe were all qualities that those making fun only dreamed to have. She gave me a great sense of self, and is the epitome of what I want to be for my two children. Were we alike? No. I tend to dress funky preferring polyester over linen, whereas my mother wore a brass pineapple belt buckle with her Bermuda shorts or Lee jeans and the same Bass moccasin shoes for the majority of my youth and young adulthood. However, I was so proud to see her on those days she'd show up to a full gym class in high school carrying the lunch I had forgotten to grab on my way out the door. "That's my mom!" She was never the cool mom that all my girlfriends would tell their secrets to or that would let me spend the night out in a home where the parents were not home, but she was the mom that my friends loved because of her quick wit and nurturing spirit. She'd throw the ball in the front yard every time you asked and would take me to the mall to shop for hours although she didn't buy herself a thing. (After all, she had 3 back up pair of moccasins in her closet.) I hold so dear those friends who knew her like I did. They are the ones that know that she has always been on a pedestal, that she was not perfect but that she was pretty close. When I was 12, I saw a shrink for a while because I was so afraid that something was going to happen to my mom. I was afraid every time she got in the car, took a trip or even went for a bike ride. Maybe I knew. No matter the hardship I faced, my mantra was always, "I'll be fine as long as I have my mom". Well crap. Here we are. Momless.
So, am I in a good place now? No, not really. I miss her everyday. I talk about her everyday. My children know her as if they spend every weekend with her but they've never met her. My 6 year old has also seen a shrink for anxiety issues. Wonder if that has anything to do with my dead mother. I remember telling my mom in those final days that I would not survive without her. I regret that. I'm a mom now and can't imagine how that must have felt. But I really did feel that I would not physically survive without her. Today I am ok. I'm happy. I love my life and my family. But I really, really miss her. My kids often look to the sky and tell her they miss her. Of course, they say they miss the dead dog they never met too.
I don't know what this blog is going to be. I know what it won't be. It is not going to be a motivational journey through my darkest hour of grief to a magnificent life beyond death and the discoveries made along the way. I have, however, learned some very powerful lessons along the way but they're lessons I would trade if I could have my mom back. I have been empowered by my strength to live and be ok without her and I have also learned the vast difference between religion and spirituality. As I said, I have not read the letters I will share since I wrote them almost 11 years ago. I will post the letters, explain what was going on in my life at the time, how I was feeling and hopefully paint a picture of a family that sorely misses their mother, wife and friend. deardeadmother.com