Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 21st

April 21st is not the easiest of days for me...but this year, as I expected, it was even more difficult.  I'm not used to being this far on these kinds of days, or at least not being this far without knowing that I'll be home within a day or two.  As always, it was helpful to be able to see my parents by the grace of technology.  I spent the day (and the night before) extremely heavy hearted, for the same reason I have been heavy hearted on this day for the past 9 years.  April 21, 2003 my family lost one of the most important women in my life, the woman who, aside from my mother, has influenced me the most.  I considered her my second mother, but by blood she was my aunt, by choice, she was my madrina (godmother).  She died after an incredible battle with that disease we all hate...cancer.  She was one of the strongest people I have ever known.  Growing up, if I wasn't being told I looked or acted like my mother was telling me that I inherited my aunts attitude.  I like to think that's true, because she was a firecracker...and it will never cease to give me comfort that I have even the smallest amount of her in me.  We had an incredible bond.  And I hold so many memories of her close to my heart.  The most memorable probably being when I was young and had to get a spinal tap.  It was the most intense pain I had ever felt, and probably have ever felt to this point.  My parents found it too difficult to be in the room with me...but my madrina, she told them she could handle it, and she held it together for me.  I remember screaming in pain, and trying to communicate to her how I could barely breathe because of all the nurses around holding me down, and seeing the tears streaming from her eyes, her realizing what I was saying, and screaming at everyone to let me makes me chuckle now.  I remember going to Puerto Rico with her, my godsister/cousin, and my godson...all the incredibly beautiful moments we had there.  I remember when I was little and had to get blood drawn, which was pretty much all the time, and her telling me that if I didn't cry she would give me a dollar...I always got my dollar!  And, I remember when she was so bad that she was bed ridden, and I was getting ready for my senior prom.  I remember standing on a chair so she could see my dress and her smiling ever so slightly.  She died just a few months before my high school graduation, and I can't put into words how heartbreaking it was for me not to see her face there.  There's no pictures from my graduation, and thinking back I can't think of any reason for that besides the fact that it was so hard to take pictures at such an important event in my life, when one of the most important people weren't there.

They say time heals all wounds but I don't think that's exactly true...time just makes the hurt a little easier to deal with.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss her.  But my life was better, and is better, because she was in it.  And although there's so much that happens in my life that I wish she was here for, to give me that smile of hers, or to tell me she loves me, or that she's proud of me...I know that she is, and that brings a bit of comfort to my heart.  She lived her life not caring what others thought of her, and I'd like to think that she's looking down on me, smiling as I do the same.  

Madrina, Mommy & me

Over two years ago I was having an incredibly down day...I missed her so incredibly, that I tried to put pen to paper as I remembered the day she passed.  It may not be perfect, but it is real...

Some days are still harder than others

I can almost not remember it like it was yesterday
the phone woke me
I didn't understand who could be calling at that hour
but I answered
on the other line was an uncalm calm
::she's gone::
:who's gone:
I didn't understand
or I didn't believe
but either way I had to ask
had to be sure
but she was gone
and the little girl in the grown woman I was supposed to be
came tumbling out of me
I didn't know how to carry that heavy load..
the weight was unbearable
and I didn't think I could climb out of bed under it
let alone walk down the hall without collapsing
so I stumbled as far as my small body would allow
to the door next to mine
and the savior that slept quietly on the other side
he would take the weight for me
I knew this as sure as I knew that she was gone
I opened the door
trying to formulate some semblance of words he could understand
I'm not sure what came out
but I know that in his understanding the weight shifted from me to him
he told me it would be ok
and I watched as he wavered under the weight of it
I could see the little boy inside of the man he was supposed to be,
but the mad fought back
he walked down the hall
to the room neither of us wanted to enter
to try and gently place that huge weight
on the shoulders of our mother
her cries pierced my heart like a million  knives
and it bled out
desperately trying to make its way to her
to fill the holes in her own heart
caused by the weight of the world that had just come crumbling down.

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