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?