nowhere near enough

I remember sitting with my mother in August 2011.  She was weak from her recent hospitalization, but doing what she always did: expressing her perpetual concern for others.  In this case, it extended to a relative of a close family friend, who was welcoming and supportive during Mom’s time at MD Anderson.  This woman had to fly to Pennsylvania suddenly to care for an aging mother, who was in her late 90’s, had a feeding tube and was fighting pneumonia.

“Its not fair that Diane’s mother has to suffer so. I can’t imaging anything worse than watching your mother die bit by bit, at the end of such a long life.”

“I can!” I snarled.  But my mother missed the irony.  She couldn’t see, wouldn’t see, that I was watching her die, bit by bit, and would give the world to have another 4 decades with her in my life. I felt my personal tragedy trumped that of this other woman’s, who had the good fortune of many, many more years with her mother than was destined for me.  

Of course, it wouldn’t have been any easier if mom were 98, instead of 58.  I never would have been ready to say goodbye, snap the book shut, close the door, say “enough.”  Her illness, her suffering would never have been pallatable, even if it happened at a more “natural age.” Heck, in many parts of the world, 58 is downright elderly.  Many girls lose their mother long before adulthood, and navigate their entire lives without a mother.  They could be envious (and rightly so) that my mother saw me graduate from junior high, from high school, from college, from a masters program.  My mother knew my husband, and walked me down the aisle at my wedding.  She rocked me as a baby, but also had a rich relationship with me as an adult.  

I am fortunate for the time we had together, but it was nowhere near enough.


I'm grateful our story didn't end here




6 thoughts on “nowhere near enough

  1. kymlucas

    This post made me so sad for you. I am so sorry for your loss. There are some things in life you don’t get over; if you are lucky, you get through.

  2. jfeden4

    Ah, again, scanning through your back posts… struck by the similarities in our responses… my dominant feeling in the days after Mom’s death was ‘too soon!’ I wrote in my journal of “the metallic taste of ‘once more!’ -as in, ‘if I could have just seen her once more. But then, we almost always feel that way. We always wish for one more touch, one more connection. Death always comes too soon, life has always been too short, too unappreciated. There’s always an unexpressed love, an unshared insight, and unrevealed appreciation…” But somehow we pick up and go on. We live and we love and it gets better. Never over. But better.

  3. finally_write

    no difference had she been 98 rather than 58

    So true. My Mom is now 78 and since we are so closely connected, I often feel panicked at the thought some day she will be gone. There could never be enough time, because, of course, I want her with me my entire life. It’s so important while you are able to spend time with one another, to reinforce those little things that will stay with you long after another is gone… those sayings, those silly songs you might sing, those stories you might pass along, those wonderful photos of goofing around. Capturing love and laughter every way you can, as someone thought to do in this beautiful photo as you were born. Lovely. God bless.


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