My Final Thoughts: There are no do-overs in Death, so why not treat Life the same? Live each moment like you wont get a second chance.
Random Thoughts: Clinching my tear soaked pillow, thinking how amazing my mothers voice sounds, thanking God that I have hear music to hold on to her voice, hoping my iPod battery doesn't die before I fall asleep, Wondering what the hell was I doing when she was here?
Initial Thoughts: I decided to play my mothers version of Amazing Grace to help me sleep tonight or this morning rather since its now 330am. It's sung in our native tongue, Navajo Cherokee, along with my grandmother who equally had an amazing voice. As I listen to the song and I appreciate my mothers voice it made me reflect on the times when she was here and the lack of enjoyment I allowed myself to feel. I remembered traveling all over with her, driving and chaperoning her to her performances, making sure she had water when she got off stage, double checking that she had the right lyrics to the song in case she forgot on stage, ensuring she didn't exhaust herself when fans approached her and cutting conversations short when I saw she needed a break. She was very loyal to those who enjoyed her music and would stand and smile as long as they would regardless of how she felt. (Sidenote: She performed and recorded her best while she went through one of her last bouts with chemotherapy.) Anywho, I realized tonight that I was so business about her singing career that I didn't take time to enjoy her singing. She'd ask me what I thought about a song and I'd just comment I like it or it sounds good. Never really taking the time to sit and listen and just enjoy the sexy raspiness of her voice. Not because I didn't like her music or didn't support her, but my mind was so cluttered with her health and making she didn't put herself in the hospital trying to please her fans. (2nd sidenote: I will say that I got little pieces of enjoyment while she was on stage. That woman could put a show no matter what she was going through and she felt every second of each song she sang and you could tell whenever she performed. I have no idea how she did it some days, getting up on stage finding the air in her lungs to sing as strong as she did when her body was fragile and breaking down.) When I think about her travels to the cancer center, I see I had the same approach, very business like. I took on the role of being my mothers brain, eyes, legs during her weaker moments, basically I did everything she couldn't do to make her days runs smooth. Again I took moments here and there to enjoy the time with her. But I was definitely focused on what pills she had to take next, what refills I needed from the doctor, what test results didn't we get, when was her next appointment and what did I need to cancel on my schedule to get her there or what questions did I need to ask the doctor so we could stay on top of this cancer.
The more and more the song played on repeat I started to think about other things I didn't take the time to enjoy about my mother. The lessons she learned throughout life that I could have learned if I picked her brain more. The style and creativity she had, that I only discovered after she passed and I inherited most of her wardrobe, jewelry, and pictures. The knowledge she had on cooking; I always left the recipes up to my younger sisters to learn and said I just want to eat the food I don't want to learn how to cook it. (Pause here for intense crying, literally) I only started desiring those skills in the last year of her life when she would stay with me in Maryland. She would get so sick sometimes that I insisted she pack up and stay with me so I could be ten minutes away from her instead of two hours away. She loved getting up and cooking for me when I got home. She showed me how to make her famous rice pudding and I made lasagna, I was so proud of myself, lasagna is tricky. I could go on about the talents, knowledge, and bayooteefull things my mother possessed that I barely scratched the surface on. My way of coping with my mothers illness what to try and control it. I don't think this was a mistake but I could've allowed some moments of spontaneity to enter had I not tried to control every aspect of her illness.
I love my mother more now than I ever realized when she was here. I know she knew I loved her but I definitely wish I was more aware of my emotions then as much as I am now. I painted a bag at a charity event the other day with my name on the front and on the back it read "Tia's Girl 4 Life". My friends and cousin looked at me crazy when they saw a broken heart painted under that quote. Some people think I'm crazy but losing my mother is like having a broken heart forever. It's challenging and painful to desire a person and not have them when they're right in your face or at least walking this Earth. So imagine how much more pain I feel longing to have my mother beside me or even walking this Earth and knowing that no matter how much I wish it, pray for it, do right in this life, that it will never happen. I can only do my best in the life and pray that I see her again when this one is over because I can't get a do-over. My broken heart is soothed by the thought that she watches over me and is hearing all that I express in this blog and in my prayers and that somehow starts to make up for lost time.
I'll leave with this. My mother was right in front of my face and while I made great sacrifices to take care of her and be by her side until the end I took stuff for granted. Not seeing the bigger picture possibly that this was the last year of our time together and the opportunity to get as much from my mother a daughter would need to survive for the rest of my life without her. (Pause for more crying) But then I think, maybe God wanted me to be all business minded and analytical about everything because it allowed my mother to be care free and enjoy the last year of her life. So maybe I didn't take it for granted and I made the ultimate sacrifice of getting to know my mother more intimately so she could be happy and not have regrets. I'll never know, because as I said earlier you don't get do-over in Death and you shouldn't need them in Life either.
HOMEWORK: Look around, who's standing right in front of you, waiting for you to make an ultimate sacrifice or suck the knowledge out of them before its too late. Who have you taken for granted thinking you'll get a do-over?
Signing off at 4:18am... Living Life... No Regrets!!!