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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Love and Miss You, Mom

My mom died December 17, 1991. My mom was such an easy person to dislike, and I loved her very much. Understandably, I get a lot of my humor from her, my straightforwardness, my honesty, my migraines and my mental illness.
My mom was one of six kids, poor, and had a rather hard childhood. Fortunately, all her siblings were there for each other and always remained close. My mom became pregnant when she was 18 by my dad, 10 years her senior. Unfortunate, because she had a brilliant mind and was set on nursing. I happened instead. Fourteen months later, my sister happened too. My dad chose to stay away (his choice of job) most of the time, so she raised us practically alone. My mom was ill, physically and mentally. She had a bad back (had several major surgeries) suffered migraines, and medicated herself with pain pills and alcohol. This may have eased her pain, but was hell on my sister and I. I constantly think if antidepressants had been available to her all those years ago, it could have changed all of our lives.
My mom was physically, mentally and emotionally abusive. She took most of it out on us kids, but mentally and emotionally...the person it was directed at didn't much matter.
I didn't realize till I was much older why she behaved the way she did. I just hated her for it. She was honestly a very cruel person, but she was also (which I didn't understand) a very sad person. She was lonely, neglected, struggling with so many issues and raising 2 kids by herself.
My sister and I were rebellious, looked for and wanted acceptance, love, peace of mind and just plain happiness. We found it in all the wrong places. Well, once again, I can't speak for my sister, and I won't. But this is how I felt.
Let's just fast forward about 15 years. I changed and in the process, I forgave. And, with forgiving, I opened the door to let love in. I saw my mom in a way I'd never seen her before, like putting in a higher watt bulb and suddenly all the shadows disappear. I changed my bulb.
I began loving my mom, and she responded in kind. Thinking back, she probably hadn't had many people love her unconditionally. In all honesty, she gave people little reason to like her, not alone "love" her. That's where the unconditional part comes in.
My mom became one of my biggest supporters, and I say this smiling, she always told me the way it was...as much as I didn't want to hear it. When I moved to Texas and married my husband, she was my closest friend (she and my grandmother, my grandmother was my best friend from the day I was born till the day she died). I think, now, how sad it must have been for her to have the only person that would talk to her, without screaming and fighting, living a thousand miles away. Finally, though, she was able to let herself love someone and them love her back.
When I had my boys, she was the best grandmother. She loved my kids so much. She never failed to tell me how blessed I was to have them, how blessed I was to have my husband; a man that loved and supported me, and that she loved me.
My dad began having heart problems, for years he was feeling poor and going to dr's. He finally had open heart surgery to repair some of the valves and even had problems with that surgery. We were all overwhelmed with my dad's health. A few weeks after his first major heart surgery, we went to visit for Thanksgiving. We were hesitant to do this because the boys were (Casey) 2 years old and (Charlie) 11 months old. But they assured us that Dad could handle it. While there, Mom would often cry when holding my boys, she loved and missed them so much.
A few weeks later, on December 17th, my mom called late one night to tell us that my dad had gone back into the hospital. There was a problem with the thickness of his blood. My husband was the only one still up, and she told him she just wanted to let us know about Dad, that it wasn't life threatening and not to wake me up, just to tell me that she loved me. That she loved all of us. A few hours later, she died in her sleep.
We found out later that she, too, had heart disease, and no-one knew it. A few days later I received a large box in the mail, filled with Christmas presents from Mom. She must have mailed them the day before she died.
I will always be grateful for the relationship that my mom and I had developed, for all she shared with me, such as all the years I wanted children and didn't conceive. She'd tell me it would happen when it was God's timing. When I'd have my little hissy fits with my husband, she'd tell me how fortunate I was to have a man as good as Mark, someone that loved me the way he did and was always there for me (and I'd realize how she knew this from first hand experience, having never had this sort of man in her life). When I had my babies, she was always there to answer questions, ease my fears, settle my nerves and hold my hand...however long the distance may have been.
Many times I still hear her talking to me, telling me how blessed I am. I still hear her voice, feel her touch as she'd stroke my hands. I never understood this, and now I find myself doing it to my own boys. I know they probably find it as curious as I once did, and yet one day they'll be doing it to their own children and they'll remember my touch. And they'll understand too.
In many ways I am my mother, and in many ways I'm not. Regardless, I loved her with all my heart and I miss her every day of my life.


Blogger Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

There are so many ways to comment here, none of them curel or ill intended mind you. This is stuffed so full of emotion in extremes that there is most certainly a book here. It's a story worth telling not just to your E-pals, but to the world at large. Think about that. It's very powerful stuff.

With that said, man you're killing me here with all this heavy emotional stuff. How do you expect me to have a nice and happy Saturday when I get up and read this???

Back to Serious Mode: My father was the same. He was his own tragic figure who lived that life and was met with that death. Despite my best effort, I think of him every day, more so now than when he lived a few blocks away. It's unfortunate that people suffer in the ways they do. I'm glad you came out the other end intact and stronger. It would have been so easy to be consumed with all the negativce that surrounds these things. You should be proud of yourself for that and what you have been able to build in your life.

On with the frivolity,
Your pal in NYC,

9:25 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

Sweet Tom ~ I'm sorry if this upset you. I wrote it with love. I miss my mom, yes, but more than that, I'm blessed to have developed a relationship with her that was loving and wonderful. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family that did. So, please don't be saddened with this story. I wrote it with joy for having loved her...and knowing that she loved me.

9:38 AM  
Blogger HizzleThizzle said...

Oh this made me cry from the love that comes shining through the entire post. It also made me miss my Dad, and while my mom is still alive, she is in Ireland which really is another world away.

I feel your pain, my dear sweet kathi, my dad passed away 3 years ago and it devastated me. I was the typical "Daddy's Little Girl" and theres not a day that goes by that I dont miss him and his advice terribly.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Kathi - I agree with Tom, you're getting too heavy for me. lol!

I lost my mom in '91 also. She was my everything and I her everything. In so many ways I am my mother's son, and in other ways and very much my own man. Without her unconditional love, support, and occasional kick in the butt I wouldn't be who I am today nor would I possess any of the good qualities that I do.

Thanks for sharing

11:49 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Wow Kath…you’re brave for writing this. My heart goes out to you. The one thing that is so rare to see, is that forgiveness was the key that unlocked the door that kept you & your mom from having such a wonderful relationship. You forgave her. You loved her unconditionally. That’s what made you two close------how amazing is that?

They say that you can’t change a person. You can only change your approach to the situation. You handled it beautifully, and your mom knew this.

It’s also been known, that before a person passes away, ‘they know’…internally, they know. It wasn’t a coincidence that you had her present shipped to you. It wasn’t a coincidence that she called you that evening and said she loved you and the kids. God works in mysterious ways, and you made her last days happy ones.

You’re truly an amazing woman.

Thank you so much for sharing this Kath! Love you!!!!!!!!!!

3:58 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

hizzle ~ I'm glad it's something that touched you. I miss my mom, too. But I'm also blessed to have reached the relationship we had before she passed, because, as I said, I'm the only one in my family that did. And, I don't actually feel that she's 'gone', but that she is with me and one day I'll be with her.

shawn ~ I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to get heavy. Today is the anniversary of her passing and I've never shared this before. It felt good, I did it with joy and not sorrow. It apparently was 'heavier' for y'all than for me.

deb ~ girl, I love you with all of my heart, and I hope you know how much you mean to me. There is, though, nothing whatsoever amazing about me. What is amazing is this book of yours that I am reading. And I hope, that by the time we get back from our Christmas vacation, I'll have the words to express how wonderful and full of love it is.

4:18 PM  
Blogger bbsgirl said...

That was beautifully written and I'm in tears both with wanting to share in your love for your Mom and the loss of not having her physically here with you. Her spirit lives on through you so in that sense she is always with you.

My Parents are still alive and close by...I just posted about Dad the other day....I have never been close to him and I know I never will be. I envy that you found that with your mom. When the day comes that my own Mother leaves...I know I'll be one giant mess. I have no clue how I'll hold it together.

Thank you for sharing this heartwarming post.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

Kathi- thank you for sharing this beautiful story. During this time of year it is the time for sharing love, and telling how people overcame. Thank you. It amazes me how so many years ago people could have become better emotionally, physically and mentally with better medicine and doctors. The longer we live these types of things seem to get better. I am so glad that you had the chance to make peace with your mother and experience the love she had for you. Have a Merry Christmas.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Charles X said...

that was a nice read thank you for that insight into your life. also sorry about your cat. :(

4:50 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Shannon said...

Thank you for posting that. I've been having problems with my Mom since I was a teenager. This helped to bring things out in a different light.

9:09 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

jan ~ Once you let the past go, the present is easy. I never forgot the abuse, it made me be a better mom, but I couldn't hold it against her anymore. Sometimes, too many times, tomorrow is too late.

rose ~ thank you. It's the anniversary of her passing, I just wanted to write for her.

charles x ~ I just love you, hon. Thank you.

Shannon ~ You're welcome. Regrets are hell.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Your mother was lucky to have someone love her unconditionally. You were lucky that she responded with love.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and admire your courage through lifes many obstacles. I'm so lucky to have had you in my life all of these years. You are so loving and supportive and treat me as one of your own children...I just love you for everything you've taught me.

9:48 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

nikki ~ honey, I can't remember anything anyone has ever done or said to me that meant more to me than that. I love you so much...sometimes more than my own children, lol.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Memphis Steve said...

Your mom sounds somewhat like my mom. Even to this day I don't really understand my mom. I'm sorry you lost your mom like that. But I'm glad you two were able to be happy before she died.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

You have no idea how this touched me. No idea.

5:55 PM  
Blogger ShellyP said...

The whole time I was reading this I was thinking "wow." I'm trying to get to the point with my own mother as you were at with yours. I've gotten better as I've gained independence but it's still hard.

6:03 PM  

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