Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you there G-d? It's me. Tammie.

I know I've been away for a while, but I really needed to take a break. Although I'm not as prolific a blogger as some of my friends, I do try to post more than 3 times in a month. I couldn't. This is a hard time for me.

On the 15th of April, I turned 46 years old. Not a bad number to most people. To me, it's a bad one. In 1985, my mom turned 46 years old. Six weeks later she died of a massive heart attack. And life was never the same again.

I have never been more scared than I am right now. I have never been able to see myself any older than my mom was at the age she passed away. It was a number of years before I found out that this is actually a common phenomenon. I knew a gentleman whose wife passed away from cancer after I got married in '88. His daughters had a rough time of it when he started to date & eventually found someone with whom he could spend the rest of his life. One of his daughters was interviewed for a book by Hope Edelman titled "Motherless Daughters." Knowing what I was going through, he recommended I read the book.

It probably saved my life. I had begun to do things that were defeating me in life. Reading this book showed me that I wasn't alone. There were actually many other women out in the world who didn't know what life beyond the age of their mother's passing would look like. I had, & still to this day have, many questions for my mom to answer. And she isn't here to guide me as I go through these experiences.

My gyn asked me when my mother started menopause. I don't know that she ever did. I have no one to go to. My mom wasn't there to guide me through a wedding. My mom wasn't there to guide me through an international adoption. And dammit, I shouldn't have had to name my child after her. She was supposed to be here showing me the ropes. I have no clue when it comes to so many things.

My father felt so much guilt over everything that our relationship fell apart for a very long time. Thankfully, we have a great relationship now, but it took years to get where we are now.

David has always been my rock. At first he refused to admit that there was a problem. After all, just because I look like my mom (Can we say "cloned?"), it doesn't mean that the same things will happen to me. It wasn't until I read "Motherless Daughters" that I was able to verbalize what I was feeling.

I'm much more careful than my mother was.
  • I quit smoking about 17 years ago.
  • I don't live on 3 pots of coffee a day with almost no food.
  • I go to the doctor for checkups & with the exception of a colonoscopy, have had all the recommended tests.
  • I don't allow my family to walk all over me. She would do anything for anyone (so would I) even sick (not me!).

Even with the changes I've made in life, I still can't see myself much older. My goal right now is to get to June 1st. That is 6 weeks & 3 days after I turn 46. I think I'll breath a little easier.

After all, I have David & Erin to live for. I have a wonderful group of friends & I really do want to stick around.

Can ya help me out up there G-d?


Sandra said...

Oh, Tammie. I am crying here. I understand you are scared, but I also know that you are strong and that you know that just because it happened to your mom, doesn't mean it will happen to you. But again, I do understand your fears.

I wish I lived closer. I would be there. Know I am thinking about you.

Love you, my friend.

PIPO said...

This post just had me in tears.

I feel so much for you. I have been blessed to have my mom for a good long time and STILL cannot even allow myself to think of when she is not here.

Stay ARE going to be here to guide your daughter through all the milestones.

Super Mommy said...

Tammie - I am so sorry for your loss, pain and anxiety. You are lucky to have your dad and David to help you through the tough times. Try to think positive - as you said you changed your lifestyle to be healthier. Peace girl, peace.

Candy said...

Tammie, You are a smart woman. You won't allow what happened to your mom to happen to you. I don't know what you are feeling, because I've not gone through it. But I do know that you've got lots of extended family if you need us.

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

Tammie...I am so sorry for your pain. I had no idea that you live with so much fear about this. I know how much you miss your mom. One thing I know for sure is that you must personify all of her goodness. You are a wonderful woman..salt of the earth and we all love you. I am always here for you..please know that.

Michelle said...

Oh Tammie - You are strong and taking care of yourself. The same thing won't happen to you. I completely understand your fears. You do everything to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You'll be around for a long time.

My grandfather's dad died at age grandpa had your same fears. He is now almost 86.

Positive attitude...chin up, tits out!

fricke92 said...

Tammie, I'm so sorry you've been going through such a rough time. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you navigate this rough patch.

I do think what you are experiencing is very common when you lose you parents early. My dad lost both his parents by age 23. His only brother died suddenly in his early 60's. He had a really hard time knowing he was the only on in his family still living. Longevity does not run in his family and it's sobering to realize he's hit an age that no one else in his family managed to hit.

We all have only so many days on this earth and sometimes we need these reminders to live each day to the fullest.

We'll all be celebrating with you on June 1st, my friend! :)

Magi said...

Everyone else has said it so much better than I. You are strong, and you will get through this time. You have a loving husband and wonderful daughter to help guide you. You also have a lot of friends who have your back.

Lisa said...

Oh, girlfriend. We've talked about this and I so know that you're having a rough time. Times have changed, doll. Science has come far, you're doing a good job at changing habits and taking care of yourself. You can't get yourself into such a twither, however, cuz worrying about it all the time is defeating yourself. It consumes you and prevents you from living and enjoying your life. Talking about this with my own mother, she says she can identify. The women in my family don't live much past 68. So this weighs heavily on her mind as well.

Love yourself. Live life fully in honor of your mom. Give your daughter wonderful memories to remember you by. Some day. A long time from now.

Hugs to you!

We5Chois said...

Hey Tammie,
I am sorry to hear you are suffering. Please know that you have many people around you who love you and are here for you to vent, cry or whatever you need to do. There is no point me telling you not to worry,cos I know that won't make a difference. all I can say is keep doing what you are doing, making positive changes to your lifestyle and live each day to the max. None of can know when our time will come, what is truly important is to really live for the time we have. You are an incredible, wife, mother, friend and daughter. You are a credit to your mother's memory and I am sure when you meet her again, she will tell you this herself. Until that happens, try your best to relax and enjoy the ride. We love you girlfriend and will be partying on June 1st right along with you. Hugs to you. Kim

Vivian M said...

You are going to make it, and we are going to celebrate it with you one way or another!

Shari McConahay said...

Tammie, Just know that I know what you are going through and I am here any time - day or night!

Hugs & love,