In 1982, on Friday, January 15th, about 4 in the afternoon, my mother had the stroke that ended her life. Today marks the 28th year since her death.
I can say that, now, I don't think about her all that often. I was 16 then, just a month short of my 17th birthday, finally old enough and mature enough to have a good relationship with her. She was almost two years past her brush with cervical cancer. From 7th grade through 10th, my mom and I didn't have much of a relationship, I realize now. We were both deep in very overwhelming things -- me with adolescence and those prescription amphetamines I took each morning, her with cancer and fear. We'd just begun being mother and daughter again.
I'm 44 now, staring at 45, edging ever closer to being the same age she was when she died. Morbid, but I have located myself by the deaths of others since I became aware of such things. 28 years is a very long time. Some years this date has passed without a thought. Other years, grief overwhelms me -- or self pity, really. On the whole, I've dealt with this fact of my life and I don't think about it very much.
This year will have another pivot date, later on, in August. It will be 10 years since my father died. That one still hurts.
I can't help occasional feelings of isolation and smallness. I have no children. I am not close to any family member -- beyond Christmas cards, I communicate with no one. I feel like I've let down my mom and dad. This bothers me sometimes at night.
Most days, though, I am fine. These are the realities of being a mortal being. When I put it into perspective, I realize things are all right.