Family: My Mother

Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood

Posting a seemingly unrelated song on the top of what is a very serious post is intentional.

Have you ever had to deal with the loss of someone/thing close to you? If you have, did you find yourself realizing how much you related to that person/thing? Dr. Feelgood is actually the song that I picked to play at my wedding for my deceased mother.

Yes, you read that correctly. Out of her favorite songs this was far more appropriate than Another One Bites The Dust.

Out of all the reasons I started this blog this week, the main reason I had was to see if I could write this post. You see, today marks the one year anniversary since my Mom died. I’ve wanted to address it in written form for a long while. It’s not that I’ve been ignoring it or anything, I actually talk about it quite frequently hoping that a semi-exposure therapy type attitude about it will make it easier. That’s a bit of a stretch, I know. I’m a strange individual though, so that’s not surprising.

In all honesty, I just want to think about her today and share some stories about her. I have no idea how this is going to go cause I’m free writing it, but we’ll see. Her passing and the last year has given me ample time to reflect on a lot, and I’m hoping that somewhere in this rambling free-write, someone might share some feelings or just imagine that they would want to know her.

Let’s start with a list. As I’ve said before I’m a list person.

My Mom:

  • was a no-nonsense person
  • was clumsy
  • loved unicorns
  • loved dogs and owned at least one dog all her life
  • hated driving
  • listened mostly to country and 70s-80s rock
  • smoked Virginia Slims even when she hated how much they cost, and always under the stove fan or outside
  • was a lightweight when it came to alcohol, and acted very silly when she’d been drinking
  • watched NASCAR an obnoxious amount
  • rooted for the San Francisco 49ers (even though she really had no connection to the city or the state of CA)
  • drank far too much coffee, and is the reason I’ve been drinking it since I was pretty young
  • had a bad case of claustrophobia (which is why I never once saw a movie in a theater with her, and also why she would be cremated in the end)
  • survived cancer for 16 years past a doctor giving her a 6 month death sentence
  • joked about being way too stubborn to die, but saying that if it was anything, it’d be a head injury that killed her (she was correct, unfortunately)
  • was far too thin all of her life. She survived anorexia, but struggled with gaining weight. She weighed less than 100 pounds at 5’7″
Mom's Wedding

Their wedding June 8, 1996.

My mother and I had a strained relationship. One of those love and hate kind of things. We got along perfectly if we could separate after a few hours or a day or so, but living together when I was a smart-ass teen was not the greatest. We would argue far too much. Even so, I was never one of those children that legitimately hated my Mom or ever wished her ill (I actually even had an annoying habit of asking her if she’d taken her medicine everyday). I did move out after a fight (all of them just verbal, my mother never hit me) when I was 17, but it was because I was hot-headed and wanted to live with my then girlfriend anyway. I also had a big beef with my stepfather. He was not so verbal when fighting is all I’ll say on that matter. When I originally woke up to the calls about my Mom, I feared that he may have been the cause. After speaking with him the day after and him telling me what happened, I realized that I was wrong to think that. Though difficult, I have forgiven him for how he was, but I still don’t like him very much.

Mom and Dog

Mom with her dog Shelby ~1998

The pictures I have of her are fairly old, but my fondest memories of her lie with my childhood. Not because there weren’t good memories when I was a teen, but unfortunately, I’ve kind of blocked out a lot of my memories in that time period due to a bad bout of severe depression. Also, cause I looked damn goofy as a kid. Due in part because it’s before my transition, and just…ugh. Fine. Just for laughs, I’ll post an ancient picture of her and I being weird.

We were weird

That’s Mom and I

My Mom was my biggest support. She accepted whatever I chose to do with my life and always told me that she believed that I would go very far in my life. She supported my transition, so much so that Larry knew better than to put that I was her daughter in her obituary (I feel like she would have haunted him, and he must have known that too). She was even one of those parents that pulled the “I knew before you did.” line. She supported my wanting to marry my fiancee. She even said she’d drive to Baltimore to come to my wedding (note the list and how I said she didn’t like driving? It was a big deal for her to drive from Currituck, NC to Baltimore, MD). I think the part that’s the hardest to swallow is we had this really in depth talk and she told me all these things exactly a week before I received the phone call that she’d died. Exactly 3 days after our move from Greensboro, NC to Philadelphia, PA. We’d spent a week visiting family in Currituck before we came up here, and not a few days after being here, I would scrounge up the money I didn’t have to take the train to my hometown of Virginia Beach, VA to go to my mother’s funeral.

It’s hard to accept her death still. I get so sad and so angry at the same time. I spoke at her service, and through my tears I kinda yelled at her for just telling me she’d come to my wedding and then going and dying on me. She told me she was too stubborn to die, damn it.

If there is an after, I hope to see you or meet you again, Mom. I know for certain you’ll always be in my life.

04-29-13 Memorial

This is her signature from a b-day card.

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