Rain, Rain Go Away - Missing The Milestones

I wasn’t particularly depressed today. I wasn’t upset about anything. I wasn’t overly happy or mindful. I was pretty much content, yup, that was me this morning. I have plans this evening that I’m looking forward to and my family is in town so they’ve been running me ragged the last couple of days.

So, I sat down to do this week’s blog post. In an attempt to avoid discussing my family I searched wordpress for a blog topic and landed on college. Hey, I did that. I went to college. With a topic in hand I was all set to start writing.

I started my fairly random babbling about my college experience just as it started to rain here in Atlanta. I wrote about how my mother had me sign a contract when I was eight years old that I would either attend college, get a job and start paying rent, or get the hell out of her house when I turned eighteen.

The post was light, kinda, sorta and then my Muse danced over to my dark side. I felt gloomy and down, but I ignored the feelings and wrote two pages about the ups and downs of my college life. I wrote bit by bit about my freedom, my failures, my partying, my mistakes, my successes while attending college. I was plugging along, plopping down words. I typed and typed and then I stopped.

During my third year of college my mother died. That happens to be a part of my college experience. Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t say, but when I started writing about college I didn’t see that one coming. By one, I mean I didn’t think about the fact that I’d end up writing about my mom anyway if I were going to write about my college experience. Don’t ask, I don’t always credit myself with being the brightest bulb in the room.

I decided to discuss my college experience and not the family in town for a visit to avoid writing about my mom in first place. Why didn’t I want to write about my family? My visiting family is not biological family. They’re my mother’s best friend and her clan which is why I picked what I thought was a random topic and yet, I still ended up writing about my mother.

I guess the universe would like me to write about my mom and her death for some reason. So I’m going to write about that until I figure out why it seems to be this week’s subject matter.

I miss her. Not all the time, but when I think about her that’s the first thing. She was sarcastic, sometimes sadistic, beautiful inside and out, complicated, and nurturing. She was my foundation. My mother was a wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and guidance, with a wicked and often twisted sense of humor. She was my best friend, my biggest advocate, and my security blanket. She defined unconditional love and showed me what it meant.

Her passing left a hole in my heart that I’m not sure anything other than mommy memories will ever fill. To tie this back to college, graduating was my first milestone after her death. I remember the day I graduated, not really celebrating the experience because it made me think of all the other milestones in my life that she wouldn’t share with me.

I shared my first piece of writing with my mother at seven years old. It was a short story about a girl who was about to move away from her best friend (which I’d done three times in my life at that point). My mother said the piece was too over the top emotional. She encouraged me to rewrite it but tone down the emotional pain and make it more realistic.

Just because I didn’t cry rivers of tears when I moved away from my best friends because of her job, didn’t mean I wasn’t frustrated by moving so much when I was a kid. Instead of arguing with her about it, I rewrote the piece.

Over the next four years my mother passed up two promotions until her job offered her a position and salary she couldn’t turn down. Although she had to take the position, she let me live with friends until I finished the school year.

We shared a love of reading, although I tended to lean toward Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins-Clark, while she read Harlequin romances and Danielle Steele. Occasionally we traded books as was the case with Jackie Collins and Kathryn Harvey (Barbara Wood). I mostly wrote poetry in high school and college and when she passed I was taking a creative writing class.

The professor praised the work I created during that time. It was real and honest reflection on watching my mother die of pancreatic cancer. There was no effort to writing for me, I wrote because I was in pain, my world was crumbling and I needed an outlet. I have no idea where any of that writing is today. Probably on an ancient hard drive of a computer that died the final computer death.

I guess my mother is on my mind a lot right now because I’m hitting another major milestone in my life that she’s not around to share. I wrote a book and it is going to be published. I’ve celebrated that accomplishment a tiny bit, but again, it makes me sad that my mother isn’t around to celebrate with me.

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