Sunday, March 17, 2013

The worst year

It has been a long and tiring day. But not nearly as long as one year ago, March 17th, 2012. It was a Saturday and Sam and I were leaving for Mexico for his Senior Spring Break trip. Jim was not going with us due to work and was driving us to the airport and I remember thinking I should call Mom to tell her goodbye but it was about 9am and she sometimes slept as late as 10 so I didn't want to wake her, besides, my mom didn't really care about stuff like that when she knew I would be busy leaving on a trip.  The plane ride there was pretty boring, just me and Sam in our own little worlds, I may have been a bit apprehensive about traveling to Mexico without Jim but knew I'd be meeting up with other parents when I arrived. We got our bags, made it through customs and it was about 6pm as we made our way to the shuttle with several other passengers to be dropped off at various hotels. It would be about a 45 minute drive to our hotel and we were about 5 minutes into it when my phone rang and it was Jim. I almost didn't pick it up thinking, "why is spending money to call probably just to check and see if we've made it". And then I heard the tone of his voice, very shaky and like he was about to cry, "Jen, are you sitting down?" For an instant, I don't know why, I thought something had happened to Roxanne. And then Jim just said the words....."Your Mom is dead". And I could feel Sam sitting next to me, looking scared, and I said to him, pretty calmly, "Grandma's dead." I think I remember him putting his head on my shoulder and then later holding my hand. At first I was flooded with relief that my children were okay, then I tried to just get as much information as I could while being in a passenger full of strangers. I barely survived the rest of the ride there, feeling on the verge of a panic attack wondering, how am I going to do this?

The ride seemed to take forever but we finally arrived at our hotel, like a zombie, I just walked into the lobby. Most of the other families had arrived earlier in the day and Sam's girlfriend Lauren, and best friend Luke were some of the first we saw as I think maybe Sam had texted some of them the news, I really don't remember. I barely remember going straight to the front desk, explaining my situation and then being surrounded by other parents. They took us to dinner, helped me book a flight, I layed down for 3 hours of rest in which I literally cried myself to sleep and then awoke to more tears as my phone alarm sounded, and in my same clothes that I had arrived in, took a cab, alone in the dark at 3:30 in the morning back to the airport.

Now even looking back as I write this, I can't believe my mother is gone. Can't believe it has been one year. It really is true that time heals as the first several nights and weeks I would sob through some nights. You just feel yourself dropping into this hole wondering if you are ever going to come out, knowing that you are the one who controls that. Losing a parent is natural, it's the circle of life or whatever you want to call it. I have friends who have lost children, and I honestly don't know if I would be able to pull myself out of that kind of grief.

I am grateful I did not ever have to see my mother suffer as she did her mother, and they both were praying for my grandmother's death. But, I just wish I could have told my mom I loved her one more time. I miss her so much.

This past year has been the worst of my life. I am grateful though, for a husband who loves me very much, and the support from his family has been tremendous. Roxanne living at home has helped me too. With Sam graduating and my coaching job ending, I don't know how I could have made it through each day.

Enjoying a beer after my tattoo!
Rox held my hand but it didn't hurt one bit!
I love it!!!
My yoga and running friends have also helped me. My first few yoga classes were hard to get through without crying but in time, I have begun to heal. As the one year anniversary approached I told myself I would start a blog and also get a tattoo of something meaningful to my mom. So yesterday, with the support of family and friends, I got my mom's signature, in her beautiful handwriting tattooed on my wrist. I love it and even Dad doesn't hate it, he thinks it looks great although he said it would cause him too much pain to look at it. But not me, I find comfort as I run my fingers along her name.  Jane.
on one of our trips to Florida, Mom loved the beach!
Best mommy ever!


  1. Oh, Jen! Such love for a mom! Life gives us some pretty hard blows and I'm so sorry for this enormous loss for you. I truly like to believe that your mom IS with you....not in a personal & tangible way, but she shines through you each and every day. She was a wonderful lady that produced a strong, fun, loving, beautiful & fantastic daughter. I thought of you yesterday and will keep you in prayer as this year anniversary passes and life continues on. Until you meet her again.....

  2. Sweet Jenn, I just cried and cried as I read this. Most all of us have those regrets when we lose a parent ("I should have called one last time, I should have done this or that") and it's so hard to move past that. I know it's been an incredibly difficult year for you, but you are strong. You are a survivor and a fighter. Your mom would be so proud of all you have done in the last year to move forward and remember her. The tattoo is beautiful and special and a wonderful tribute to your precious mom. Hugs to you. She's always with you, through it all. Just rub your fingers across her name and feel her presence.

  3. Your Mom was so beautiful. I cried reading this and it makes me want to drive to my Mom's house right now and give her a big hug. I'm sorry for your loss and cannot imagine what that feels like. Your tattoo looks so good Jenn!