Here we are with Thanksgiving upon us. I, of course, took on more than I could handle crochet-wise. I’ve had some issues with carpal tunnel in both hands keeping me from finishing up one afghan for a very dear friend of mine. It’s almost finished, but I’ve been kicking myself because of having to take more and more breaks in between productivity. The carpal tunnel is a holdover from the days when I did data entry. It’s the price you pay for being the top keyer on your team every week.
Anyway, Thanksgiving invariably gets me thinking about my mom. Always. Mainly because it was the last holiday that I had with her before she passed away in December 2005. Below is me (at 17) and her eight months before we found out that she had cancer. Lung cancer, to be exact.
My mom was an amazing woman. She didn’t take guff from anyone. Extremely independent and a very strong woman. I can honestly say that I got that from her. She had a tendency to speak her mind, speak her own truths, in ways that irritated people sometimes, but she was always true to herself. Some people just didn’t like that about her. She often told me, “Ashley, there’s going to be times when you speak up and people aren’t going to like it, but if you’re being honest about something, it’s usually the truth you’re speaking that they don’t like. They’ll either get over it and move on, or hold a grudge and quit talking to you. Don’t let that stop you from doing the right thing.”
Sometimes I swear that it feels like I’m literally the only one who misses this woman in my family or anyone else. I know that may not be true, but it certainly feels like it. No one ever wants to talk about her, remember her, it’s like they want to forget that she ever existed. Well, guess what? She lived! Her life mattered! She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a single mom, an aunt and a granny. I just don’t understand the silence. I’m the exact opposite of all that, I speak of her often because she was the best role model I could have ever hoped for. To me, it seems backwards to not honor her memory and talk about the short life she lived. I was 21 when I lost her, she had just turned 45.
As you can guess, she was gone right before Christmas. Even though I know that she didn’t want this holiday to be ruined for me, it happened anyway. It’s a depression and yearning for my mom that nothing can ease or make better. I’m 30 now and I still want my mom around. This year will make 9 years that she’s been gone and the pain hasn’t lessened, it hasn’t gotten easier, it definitely has not gone away. People tell me that I should be “over it” by now. Really? I wasn’t aware that there was a time limit on grief. Just because you may be “over it”, it doesn’t mean that you have the right to intrude on someone else’s grief. That irritates me beyond belief. I just don’t quite understand the callousness of being mean to someone like that. I always tell people that when they lose their own mother, especially if they were as close to her as I was mine, they’re going to understand then. Maybe they might apologize, but I doubt it. Mom raised me to admit when I’m wrong, even when it’s really hard, and I do. It may be a hit to my pride at the time to admit how infallible I am but I get over it because if the person really matters to me, I’m more interested in making things right between us than being right.
I don’t apologize for being true to myself, or for trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I’m the type of person who is brutally honest. Don’t ask my opinion if you don’t want to hear what I honestly think about anything. If you ask me if these jeans make your butt look big and it looks like you’re smuggling two hams, I will tell you so. But, just because I do, it doesn’t mean that I like/love or respect you any less. Look at it as I love you enough to be 100% honest with you. I would rather have people be honest with me today and my feelings get hurt a little, rather than find out tomorrow that I was lied to and get angry because I wasn’t worth the truth. And that’s how I treat others, as in, ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’, ya know? I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, but I can and do hold my head up because I know that I’m a good person. And that is all due to the woman who raised me.
If I’m not back on before Thanksgiving, have a most happy and blessed day with your loved ones! 🙂