If anyone told me a month ago I would be writing this post after losing my mother, I would have done things differently. I would have hugged my mom tighter, told her I loved her more than usual, laughed more, spent more time with her.
The thing is that my mom is someone I thought would always be there. She is the one I called when life presented challenges. She was silly, funny, generous…I just can’t imagine a world without her. Other people lose their parents…not me. I am 43 years old, my mom only 66 – and I have to go through life without a mom to hold my hand. I don’t know how to even imagine ever having the strength to do that.
My mom was an only child, and so am I. Though it is hard for my stepfather to grieve over losing his wife and difficult for my daughter to lose her grandma – all terribly painful losses – I wish I had siblings right now to go through this with. I’m in my mom’s house, helping with her “things” and trying at the same time to cope with the thought of not having my mother’s daily love for the rest of my life.
Though she loved me everyday, my mom never understood our decision to sell everything and live the rv lifestyle. She worked at the same job all of her life, did everything the “right way” according to today’s standards. She retired only 1 1/2 years ago. But I think she understands now…wherever she might be.
Though you cannot escape the pain of life when rving, because life will find you no matter where you are, I cannot imagine only getting one week to grieve, then “back to the office” to pretend everything is ok. My rv is in her driveway right now, as long as necessary, so I can be here for my family and for myself. Conventional life doesn’t allow for such things. I know it seems silly to talk about rving at a time like this, but the point is that I couldn’t cope with this in the traditional life I left behind. I need to take however much time I need to just be in her home and feel her around me.
How do people do it? How do they lose a parent and then have to go back to work and pretend anything they are doing has any importance, in the grand scheme of things? Deadlines, projects, budgets – who the hell cares? All that matters in this world are the people you love…that’s IT. Not even your checkbook means a damn thing. My mom worked all of her life, saving for retirement and never got to enjoy it.
So, mom – though I have always been your unconventional daughter, now you see why I live the life I do. I can spend more time with the people I love. I can spend more of my life feeling alive in the present instead of worrying about financial planners, 401k’s and only planning on the future, if the future ever comes. I could never have gone back to the “office” after losing you. My lifestyle is going to give me the time and freedom to cope with this tremendous loss, instead of having to quicken the grief process so I can get back to work.
My rving decision was because I feel I know what matters most – my family. I never wanted the big house, fancy cars and expensive furniture that would keep me chained to a desk to pay for it all. All I ever wanted was you and the rest of my family. I am so happy I got to come to Illinois in October and spend so much time with you, including this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. And now, as I type this sitting at your dining room table, I am so grateful I can feel your love around me throughout this home – because that is all that matters to me right now.
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