Sunday, July 29, 2007

On my mind

Georgia, Georgia,
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I'm say Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
-Ray Charles

Well, Georgia's not the only thing on my mind these days. Hell, I have so much on my mind it's no wonder I'm ready to pass out by 10pm every night. This is gonna take a while. I have a lot on my mind, and it's just gotta come out.

Thomas is going to overnight Boy Scout camp for the first time this week. He's never been to camp before without his Dad or me being there. I'm not worried about him- it's just that this is one more step towards being grown up and it makes me a little sad. I can't believe he'll be 10 in a few weeks. I'm sure I'll cry. Tears of pride, knowing my oldest son is on his way to being a man.

Kevin started football a couple weeks ago, and so far, he loves it. He's suited for football- he was a 10 pound baby with ginormous head and shoulders. He was born built like a football player; it's just taken him seven years to actually get the itch. He looks so tiny out there, but then I realize that I'm looking at him as my baby, and not the boy he's growing up to be. All pumped up and looking tough in those pads, he'll grin from ear to ear...and I'll cry. Tears of pride, again, knowing my youngest son is also on his way to being a man.

My Mom has this disease called Scleroderma. It means "hard skin", literally turning its victims into stone over time. When she was diagnosed about 9 years ago, the average life expectancy for patients was 10 years. That thought looms in my mind. My Mom is incredible. I don't talk about her much on the blog, but she's simply amazing to me. I know we all die, and we all lose our mom's at some point, but damn... that's just something I don't want to deal with.

That brings me to the next thing on my mind. Losing your mom.
Just over 17 years ago, a baby boy was born to an older couple. She thought she was going through menopause; she was pregnant. He was thinking about retirement- not fatherhood. But the baby was born, and they called him David. David's parents have always been a lot older than his classmate's parents- old enough to be his grandparents. The parents were concerned for their child- after all, they would be in their 60's and 70's by the time he graduated from high school. So, they named a younger couple as his guardians should anything happen to them. The younger couple was my ex-husband and I; the baby boy... my ex-husband's cousin.

I never had a good relationship with my ex's parents, but I absolutely loved David's Mom, Sandy. She was a huge source of understanding for me. She took the time to know me, instead of the person my in-laws hated. I always felt comfortable in their house, even when my in-laws were present.

When David was about 6, Sandy's appendix burst. She nearly died. It was a HUGE wake up call for all of us- since she was 15 years younger than David's dad, we always thought that she'd be around for his adulthood even though his dad may not be there. But she pulled through, and we all moved on, thinking that the worst was over. We were wrong.

A few years later, she felt a lump under her armpit. The lump turned out to be Stage 4 breast cancer. By now, I was a mother myself, which really put her situation in perspective for me. I just can't imagine not being around to see my children grow up and become parents themselves. She underwent a full year of chemo. She lost her hair. She puffed up due to the steroids. She lacked the energy needed to keep up with a 10 year old son, but somehow, she did it. The cancer went into remission, but she was not cured.

The cancer came back.
It came back with a vengeance, ravaging her body. They found breast cancer cells in her lymph nodes and several organs. We knew this was not a recoverable illness. Doctors gave her a few months to live many times over the past 5 years. They finally got it right though- Sandy died Saturday morning.

When I made the decision to get divorced, Sandy was very sick, and had again been given a few months to live. I didn't want her dying knowing that David wouldn't have the backup Mom she'd chosen- me. But we told her anyway, and somehow, she lived well past those few months. That was nearly two years ago. I remember her telling me once that should anything happen to her, I would become David's mother, "so take care of yourself, ok?". We both knew that something WOULD happen to her... so those words sting so much now. I absolutely hate knowing I let her down.

Her service is Wednesday morning. I'm hoping to go, even though I'm not very well thought of by my ex's family (for good reason, I might add). But I loved Sandy, and I miss her.
I miss her a lot. Not as much as her son and husband.... but I will always miss Sandy. I'm so sorry I let her down.


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