Friday, September 23, 2011

18 years

Hard to believe, but my mom's been gone for 18 years now. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which had spread to her lungs. She was a smoker, and was never able to kick it. It was pretty quick, six weeks from diagnosis until she died. I regret that we never really discussed the idea of her dying with her. We were so completely overwhelmed by the idea of her being sick that I think we never considered that she'd die until it was just about over.

I'd like to think I did a little better with my sister, at least trying to ask what she wanted to do, and to listen to her vent her outrage and sadness that this had happened to her. You can search the label "Sister Kris" to read my posts about her. My sisters in law referred to her as "Sister" because my dad's partner is also a Chris(tine).

I was thinking a couple of days ago, as I felt this day getting closer, that I do OK with these losses if I take them out and examine them occasionally, but continue to look forward. I'm not as afraid of getting taken early as I once was. Or of dying alone, without a partner to support me emotionally. I'm not sure if it's simply the time having passed, or that I feel like I'm eating pretty well, exercising, getting health screenings and trying to watch my stress, and so am doing really all I can, prevention wise. It sounds morose, but after I went out for a drink the other day with the person I dated briefly and now is just a friend I thought, "He'd take me to chemo if I needed it." I'm not sure where that came from, I have no diagnosis to share, but it did prompt a bout of list-making in my head of people I know (some whom I've dated, and friends) of people who would pitch in in this manner if need be. And I was comforted. Not planning on needing the help any time soon, but it felt good to have the knowledge.

ANY-way, sorry for the somber tone of this post, but I wanted to share another thing. Oh, wait. Before I do that, I haven't mentioned how fabulous my mom was. She was a nurse, had three kids one year apart (plus one more, six years later) and went back to work after her kids were in school. She juggled it all, and had a clean house, cooked dinner every night. She was my friend as well, and a solid supporter of me getting a good education so I could support myself. After she graduated from nursing school in the late 1950's, she and her friend took an epic road trip out West, and worked at various hospitals as they saw this part of the country. Two single gals seeing the world. Love that.

OK here's the last bit. Last night I went to a Meet Up meet up called "Haunted Fort Collins". Two women do walking tours around downtown and one does the history, and the other can see spirits of local ghosts. Now, I am a solidly evidence-based gal. I figured she'd be all bluster and drama, but I bought it. She's quiet, sincere, humble, and absolutely confident in her abilities, which she says she got after an accident made her die briefly before being resuscitated. We made 4-5 stops around downtown, and the history woman would tell us about the site, and then the spirit woman would tell us who was there. She said she calls them in. At one point, the history woman was talking, and I glanced over at the spirit woman, who was absolutely looking into what I saw as empty space as though she saw something.

I felt nothing. She said this is normal. I was a little wary of going back to my old house all by myself, but I feel nothing of that sort here as well (phew!). See how I sort of want to believe? So much so that I took one of the spirit woman's cards, and might have her do a reading for me. She does kind of general readings of past and future stuff. While I stood there listening to her describe her services to someone else, she told this person she can "see" into the body as well. And proceeded to point to this woman's hip, saying she had something funky going on with a ligament there.

Since this happened close to a time when I'm thinking about my mom and my sister, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to hear that they're doing fine? I don't know. If they aren't, and it takes a lot of money on my part to get them there, it would start to feel like a scam, you know? It was really interesting to me to be in the presence of someone who felt as though they could tap into something I had no access to. As I said, I'm all about the evidence. However, I'm also not so arrogant to think there is stuff that science can't explain at this point in time. So, color me intrigued.

Ma? I might be in touch.


  1. A sad anniversary. I can't imagine what it will be like to lose my mother - and I've had her for a long time. Never even mind losing a sister. I envy your strength and hope I can come to the peace you've seem to have reached. I am a "show-me" type person as well, yet there are things that are just beyond normal explanations. Let us know how it goes, if you go, and if you wish to share.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Susan.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.