The Month of May

It starts before May 1st. The marketing targeted to that second Sunday in May. Mother’s Day. “15% off gifts for Mom!” “Get Mom what she really wants!” Even my iPhone alerted me, “Start a game with Mom!” Et tu, Words with Friends?

You know what I bet my mom really wants? To meet her granddaughter. But that’s not going to happen. My mom died three years ago today. May 21, 2009.

Last week, I had two strikingly similar conversations about my mother’s death with two very different people from completely different situations – our social worker, here for our second post-placement visit, and a new friend from Jackson’s school. Both conversations went something like this:

Other Person: Your grandmother’s 90? Well, there’s long life in your family.

Me: Actually, my grandmother’s my step-grandmother. She married my grandpa after my mom’s mom died.

OP: Oh, how old was she?

Me: 58.

OP: And your mom passed away fairly recently?

Me: 2009.

OP: And she was…?

Me: 59.

OP: Oh dear.


My Grandma Missestoney died on May 28, 1980. She was an alcoholic, and I am told that she was taking a shower, slipped, hit her head on the soap dish, and drowned in her bath tub. She was 58.

My Mom died on May 21, 2009. She was a smoker. She was in the bathroom getting ready to go to the ER because she was having trouble breathing. She stopped breathing and never started again. She was 59.

I will be avoiding bathrooms from May 14 through May 31, 2036. (The year I’ll be 60.) If you think I’m joking, you’ve obviously never met me.

I miss my mom everyday. I miss her more when things aren’t going well. My mom had her faults, but she could be a very good listener, as long as I wasn’t complaining about something Jackson was doing. I think I’m surprised by how much I  miss her. I don’t know. I knew I would. I had awhile to think about it. She was on oxygen for years before she died, and she kept getting worse… we still thought we had some more time. We didn’t.

What I have the hardest time with is that she will never meet Cassie, and Cassie will never know her Nana. Nana would have spoiled that kid rotten, just like she did Jackson. But she also would have been here every week with hugs and compliments. She would have taught Cassie “so big” and how to blow raspberries. She would probably even try to help us with Cassie’s very curly hair. (My mom’s hair was super curly, especially when she was a baby.)

I’m glad that my mom got to have a grandson first. I think she related better to boys than girls. But I do wish that she and her granddaughter could have spent some time together.

Nana and Jackson (June 5, 2006)

Nana and Jackson (June 5, 2006)


2 thoughts on “The Month of May

  1. Pingback: I Do Not Like Mother’s Day | The Chittister Family

  2. Pingback: My Mother Is Still Dead | Holding to the Ground

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