Let me preface this post by saying Happy Birthday to Shell, the awesome creator of this particular meme. Who had an idea and ran with it making it one of the most popular memes in the blogging world. Thank you to her for giving us all the opportunity to lay ourselves bare and let the love and acknowledgment of “I have been there too” Help us heal those wounds. Without fear of harassment or bullying. Happy Birthday to you hun, and many many more…
For those of you new to my place let me begin by saying I have moved, several times, and changed names. I started blogging about the same time I began taking care of my mother full time. Nearly 2000 posts later and a lot has happened. From her moving in with us, to selling her house and setting up another one behind us to be closer for me to help her out. Hospitalizations that left me concerned she would never come home and then what would I do with myself. All of these fears I have brought here, to this space, and found solace and sisterhood ( even brotherhood Travis). It has been here that I have laid my fears out, my frustrations when her mind began to play tricks and she became irrational and violent because of it.
When she first set up house behind us nearly every thunderstorm that occurred a rainbow would appear over her house. To me it was a sign that it is where she needed to be. Through all of the torment and frustration that could happen, her home was here with me. Every time I would feel I had done all I could stand the rainbows would appear. A constant reminder to hold on it was going to get better. I do not know how many rainbows I saw over her house in the 2 years she lived there, but I got pictures of them all.
Last December mom went into the hospital for the last time. 23 days, days in which I was given a choice of life support in the hopes of getting her better quicker, knowing that she never wanted it. Transfer to another hospital, days of her fighting to get it all off. Nights spent in a lobby that wasn’t made for overnight guests in reality. Until we realized there was no hope and removed the life support to allow her to go with dignity and as comfortable as possible. It felt like someone had taken my heart from my chest. I wasn’t sure I could take the next step, the next breath, say the next word. But I did. It is a blur to me for the most part, operating by habit and doing what had to be done. Every day when it rains I look over her house, hoping for the rainbow to come back. I needed desperately to see one. The guilt I feel in making the decision for life support, the words of the funeral home over and over in my ears of the damage her poor body had sustained in the hopes of making her better, bringing her back home to us, to me. I needed to know she was where she needed to be and was safe. Like before. They never came. 7 1/2 months, a ton of storms except for a few weeks without rain, but all storms that could provide the solace I needed, but didn’t. I spent the first weeks of spring running. Taking pictures with the kids, making memories, avoiding the ability to look behind me and see her empty house. Where I still have not taken down her Christmas decorations, the ones Gene and I put up 2 days before she was hospitalized. The last tree she would ever see, the last memory we would make together like that. I didn’t know then. I am glad I didn’t , so much more I would have done, seen, taken her too.
Monday it rained. Hard and strong and at the same time the sun blazed from beside our house. I leapt up to look and there it was. The rainbow. The one I needed to see, desperately for so many months. Now I have a full time job, I love it, I missed working full time, but it was worth it to have those memories. I think she waited, waited for me to let go and find myself apart from her again. To take those steps like a newborn of where to go and what to do without her as a huge part of my day, and nights. I am still grieving and the site of the rainbow brought me to tears, as I snapped a picture of it through misty eyes, hands shaking. I stood at my backdoor and wept openly. It was a confirmation that she is ok, she is watching and we will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it somedays. When it comes again I will pull up this picture and know that it will, cause Mom said so… the best way she knew how, by sending me a rainbow.