Letting go of my mom’s death has made me forgetful. I know March is a hard month for me because this was the time of year when she made her last visit to Edmonton, and now looking back, I knew at the time something was so very wrong. And then her symptoms were so significant that my dad took her to the doctor. And when we had that time of the terrible unknown. And then the diagnosis. And then the hospital…and then death.

But this year, it’s like I am thinking about this time of year without really thinking about it. Past years I knew the exact dates of hospital visits, hospital transfers, diagnosis, the last time she spoke. Now I think I know the dates, but I would have to go back to past writings to know for sure. And I feel so content with this. Her death is not who I am anymore.

But while writing this, I had such an odd thought come into my mind – I miss that time in the hospital with her. But not because I miss her, that time was not “her”, because I miss the routine and lack of external responsibility. I wasn’t working. I had no child. The only person that I felt responsible for was my mom. And it was my choice to be with her. She had the nursing staff, she had my dad, I could have stayed in Edmonton. But I chose to be with her. I did what I wanted to do and didn’t let anything else guide me – worrying about my work, or how would I pay the bills, or what would others think. I just did what I wanted to do with no regard for social repercussion. And my stress was only from one source. It really was a carefree time for me, in a completely unconventional way. And I am amazed as I realize this as I write.

It was a time for me to read and write and sleep in and wear comfy clothes whenever I wanted to. I only had three shirts anyways, as that was all that I packed with me for a weekend visit to the hospital in Saskatoon and then I never went back home for over two months. People cooked for me. Or my dad went and got me lunch. And I took care of my mom. I learned about her and myself, even though she couldn’t speak and I still don’t know if she could understand me when I spoke to her. But that was my sole focus. And had no other job to do. And that’s what I miss. Just the choice to let all other aspects of your life go and concentrate on only one thing. At the time, that was my mom.

So many times you hear people say, “Don’t you wish you could just quit your job and do what you love to do?” And I never thought about it before, but I guess I have done that. I wouldn’t say that caring for your dying mother is an expected outcome for “doing what you love to do”. But I did love being in that role. It was my opportunity to learn the mothering skills at an accelerated pace from my mom, as I was learning to mother her, from her. And I would never change that.

See? This is the reason I write. Not for validation or control. It’s for starting to write about one thought and it takes you on a path of realization that you weren’t expecting. It was recently the Vernal Equinox. A time of rebirth. Spring. Leaving the darkness behind and moving towards the light. Seems fitting.

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