Monday, February 10, 2014

Seventeen

When I was a young girl, I was obsessed with turning 17.  Whenever my friends and I would play pretend, if you will, I was always a 17 year old girl.  Seventeen was this magical age of teenagedom, I would be beautiful, confident and happy. When I was on the verge of actually turning 17, it was a weird feeling.  Like ... what would the year hold for me?  What was in store? 

Believe me, I had NO idea what was coming my way. 

I turned 17 on January 14th, 1997.  On February 10th, less than a month later, my mother died. 

Seventeen was not a magical age.  Seventeen sucked. 

For most of my life, I'd known my father was sick.  I knew he had a disease that could kill him at any moment.  Ambulances and hospital visits were regular parts of my life.  My mom and I often talked about what it would be like to lose my father.  My mother had lost her own father when she was 14.  She was trying to prepare me ... but ... she didn't prepare me for what was actually going to happen.

My mother died from a raging form of pneumonia.  It was a freak thing.  I never in a million years would have imagined pneumonia killing a person, let alone someone with virtually NO health problems like my mom.  She never drank, she didn't smoke, she ate well ... She wasn't some frail sick person. 

I'd screamed and cried in the dead of night as a child, scared that my parents were going to die.  Where my child's mind got this was beyond me.  My mother promised me that she would be around to bother me for years and years. 

For a moment, when Mom died, I was angry.  She'd lied to me.  Didn't she?  She promised she'd be around forever, but she didn't stay.

I got over that.  The anger, I mean.  There's a part of me way down inside that still screams and cries for my mother on a daily basis.  Not that I don't love my stepmom with all my heart and think of her as my mother.  It's just the loss of the relationship I never got to have with my mom.  We were like oil and water, we fought so much.  I would hope that by now we would have come to have a better relationship. 

I was 17 when my mom died, and it's been 17 years since she's been gone.  This is the exact same amount of time that I had her both alive and dead.  My brain is having a hard time reconciling this fact.  Soon, I will have been without her longer than I was with her.  It's strange. 

I'll never forget her though.  She brought me into this world.  She was my mother.  I miss her daily, and I love her very much.   

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