I finished a book tonight. It's not a rare thing for me, I'm a reader. I love books. I love my Kindle books and I love cracking open a real book and smelling that new book smell, or the old musty book smell. I loooooove it. My dream will be to one day have a beautiful library in my house with all my favorite books to read again and again!!! I'm digressing already!!
This book was a sequel to a previous book by the same author. I knew I wanted to read it because I had such an emotional reaction to the first book. However, I also knew in my heart that there was a chance I could have another emotional connection and equal reaction. And, I did. The plot line of one of the main characters and her daughter slammed home for me in the first book. I was a defiant, rebellious teenager. I fought with my mother day in and day out. I was selfish and thought only of myself. We were in a huge long fight when she died. So ... for the main character's daughter to be so defiant and then lose her mother while still a teenager just spoke to me. This was a sequel that story.
It left me opened and wounded again. It opened old wounds and lifted the cover on memories that are usually tucked away because they hurt so much. My brain shouldn't be allowed to wander. I think too deeply, I remember too vividly.
Of course, I can't remember the sounds of my parents voices but I can remember my dad's aftershave, the scent of my mothers Jovan Musk or her hair ... the scent of Noxema in the bathroom after she washed her face. I can remember the jingle of my dad's car keys, the whistle laugh that he would do where it just sounded like wind was blowing out through his teeth. I remember the way he would comb his hair after a shower, taking his comb and making just a teeny part of it stand up in front. I can see his old worn moccasins on the ground, that old green sweatsuit with the yellow pinstriping on it that he always seemed to be wearing at night. I remember the way my mom sat at the end of the couch, on the phone with my stepmom, curling the phone cord around her fingers. She would be bouncing her leg. I remember she always got the same shoes ... white Reeboks. I think she may of had a pink pair but I can't really remember. I remember she was still taller than me. I can see my Dad sitting in "his" spot, with his secret stash of Skor candy bars and Beer Nuts in the cabinet next to him. My Dad had a certain strut to the way he walked, so that jingling I mentioned earlier had a certain beat to it.
There's a certain jacket he used to wear ... it was leather with a white not fur collar but something soft. I have this very distinct vivid memory of hugging him and my face was pressed into that soft part of the collar. I can smell his aftershave and I feel his arms around me and in that moment, I am the safest most loved person on the planet. And, I also remember the day I skidded into his hospital room to be told he wasn't there ... I remember very distinctly of feeling that love and safety shatter and disappear.
My mom always wore dangly earrings, beaded earrings bought at the Pow-Wow, and at Christmas she'd wear my favorite onces which were green christmas balls with red santa hats on them. She'd had pins that she'd wear. One was a Christmas tree that lit up. She was always worried about her weight ... forever on a diet. I can see her laughing ... laughing so hard she's crying like my dad and I do. I can see it but I can't HEAR it. I don't remember what she sounds like. I can't even see her looking at me. When I tried with a counselor once, all I could see was her glaring at me and saying those horrible last words we shared that won't seem to fade from my mind.
I remember my mom had a vintage Barbie in her delicates drawer. It was in perfect mint condition, still in the box. I coveted that doll as a kid. I am so glad they never gave it to me but ... I have no idea what happened to it. Unfortunately, the decisions about my mom's things were made for me, I wasn't allowed to tell anyone what i wanted to remember my mother by. But, then again, when I was a kid my mom FINALLY let me have her Cabbage Patch Kid that she had bought when she got mine for me when I was 2. I destroyed that thing. Looking back I'm so ashamed because it had been kept in a comforter bag, unharmed for a long time. And then ... I ruined it. No wonder someone else took the Barbie. It still bothers me that those decisions were taken from me. We didn't have the best relationship but she was my mother.
I just remember so much ... little things. My mom's little afternoon snack of Clover Chocolate Frozen yogurt mixed with peanut butter. She'd watch Oprah every day, Days of Our Lives every day. I remember the old soap Santa Barbara.
I wish more than anything in this world I could hear their voices. However, I know how to do so and ... am afraid to. I think if I heard them on those home movies I would break apart into a million pieces. I feel like parts of me are missing a lot of the time. My life has a HUGE hole in it. I loved my parental group. I loved our life.
At least I have all these memories, snippets of times long ago. I cannot believe that it's been as long as it has. I had posted a quoate from my Kindle that said it all. It basically stated how it doesn't get any easier. Sometimes the pain of losing them is so sharp, it's as if it just happened. This is so true ... like right now, I feel like my heart is going to shatter but I am trying to hold it together because I am at work.
I miss you guys. I hope wherever you are, you're still looking out for me. Even though I am 33 years old, I am frozen in time as a child because I need my parents so much. I don't think we ever stop needing them. And I know I could be pressed into that fluffy collar of my dad's jacket, his scent around me, arms holding me in a place I have longed for for 13 years ... that place of safety, that place where I was loved more than anything in the world. I mattered so much to someone, I was important and special and completely adored. But, it isn't just that ... it would be that I have my Dad back.
My mom has been gone for 15 years, my dad for almost 13 ... don't ever let anyone tell you it gets easier. It's a lie.