Monday, August 13, 2012

Man, I Fucking Love Wednesdays

fucking love Wednesdays.  Always have.  When I was a little kid, I lived for Wednesdays. Especially in the summer. My mom was single and worked a ton of hours. Other kids looked forward to weekends and  I did too, weekends meant my grandparents. But Wednesdays...Wednesdays meant time with my mom. My Mom was in banking. Banking meant working Saturdays. Working Saturdays meant (back in the day) Wednesdays off. During school, Wednesdays meant we didn't come home to an empty house, we came home to our Mom. Often that meant some kind of Cheli-magic; breakfast for dinner, a trip to the McDonald's with pizza (magic for us) & beer(magic for her), an evening movie, whatever it was, we were ready for it. In the summer Wednesdays meant swimming. My mom would pack us up and head over to the Gady's house on the south east side of Elmhurst. The Gady's were rich, they had a mansion, a guest house and an in-ground pool. They had an entire freezer devoted to Popsicles; there was nothing else in it! My mom had gotten her start in banking working for Mr. Gady, by this point in my childhood Mr. Gady had died. Mrs. Gady had become my mom's good friend and I think she was lonely; she loved having kids in the house. Every week my Mom would warn us before we got out of the car, "no matter what Mrs. Gady says, you are not allowed to run through the house." And then she would laugh. Every Wednesday Mrs. Gady would say, "of course you can run through the house, who is in charge here?" We would spend the entire day in the pool. But, she was still Cheli. There were rules. Number one being; NO ONE FUCKING SPLASHES CHELI AND LIVES TO FUCKING TELL ABOUT IT. Actually, that may have been the only rule.
When I became an adult and a mom, Wednesdays meant two things, free daycare and time with Grandma for Aidan. They got to spend the day together and I got to go to work knowing he was in the best hands; man, I fucking love Wednesdays. They were the hands that loved him more than anything else in the world.  And Aidan got to experience the magic of Cheli.



On a Tuesday back in August of 2011 my family; Dan, Aidan, Erin and Patti gathered around my mom to say goodbye. She had been on life support for the maximum 10 days. A decision needed to be made, my mom didn't want to be on extended life support. We first brought the girls to say goodbye and then sent them home with a family friend. Each of us took a turn saying what still needed to be said. To be honest, I didn't have too much to say, while my mom and I may have had our issues, leaving things unsaid was not one of them. We un hooked the tubes and waited, and then we waited some more. The doctors had no hope, but I had some; they didn't know my mom.  And, they had never met my Grandpa who had come off of life support to resume driving...more than once.

Tuesday afternoon she was awake and doing well. When I walked in on Wednesday, she was sitting up and talking. Man, I fucking love Wednesdays. She let me take her picture to share with her sister and she would be thrilled to death that I shared it with my blog audience a couple of weeks ago. A week after her Wednesday rebound she wasn't doing as well.  My mom had a stroke the following Monday or Tuesday.  On that Tuesday Erin called me from the hospital because my mom didn't know who he was.  So I went in, unbelieving.  If my mom was going to forget one of us it definitely wouldn't be Erin.  So I went in, I chatted, I said, "Mom, who is this?" while gesturing to Erin and she started to say something, looked confused and then frustrated and then she just rolled her eyes at me.  So, I said, "Mom, who am I?" She looked at me like I was nuts and I said, "well, okay, do I look familiar, like maybe I usually annoy the crap out of you?  Or maybe you feel like you want to apologize for all of the times you were mean to me?" At that point she burst into laughter.  So I felt better.  I said, "well, clearly you know who we are, right?" She nodded.  Over the next few hours she started speaking less and less.  Let me just say that there have been moments in my life when I prayed to God and anyone that would listen for my mom to shut the hell up.  I am ashamed of these moments.  There are people who should not be silenced and Cheli was definitely one of them. Nothing prepared me for the heartbreak of my mom losing her words, for her silence.  I came in the next day; Wednesday.  My mom wasn't speaking at all, she slept most of the day.  I held her hand and sang to her for hours.  She probably wished she could speak so she could ask me to stop singing. She woke up before I left and while she couldn't speak, she was aware and held my hand and responded to things I said.  When I left the room, I said, "Bye Mom, I love you."  I turned to leave and she said "Bye, I love you too" clear as day.  As far as I know, they were the last words she ever said, she died early in the morning on Saturday, the 13th of August.  One year ago, today. It's been a long, sad year and I miss my Mom in ways big and small.  But that day when I walked out of the hospital room, I thought, "Man, I fucking love Wednesdays."

So I made a Wednesday resolution.  I thought long and hard about what I could do to honor my Mom on Wednesdays.  I thought about doing something with my kids or starting some kind of tradition and I decided against including my kids.  I am very lucky.  I, quite literally, spend more time in one day with my kids than my Mom got to spend with me or Erin in a week.  My kids are adored by me.  My life is pretty much dictated by their needs and schedules and I wouldn't change a thing about that.  My Mom was on her own.  She had to work, keep a roof over our heads, keep our bellies full and parent us.  There wasn't time for much else.  My Mom gave up a lot for us; I'm sure willingly.  But sometimes, I think of the things my Mom didn't get to do. She didn't get to have hobbies or spend lots of time with friends, she didn't get to go to the bathroom alone and she only saw cartoon movies.  She didn't get to pursue things that interested her.  So here is what I decided; on Wednesday I take time for myself.  I started taking water color classes on Wednesdays.  My classes are on hiatus for the summer, but still on Wednesdays I take time for me.  The things I choose to do with my time are not what my Mom would choose, but she would be glad that I am doing something for myself, something creative.  So while sometimes it's only ten minutes of reading (while hiding in the bathroom from my children), I make a conscious effort to do it.  This past Wednesday I took an hour to just sit and feel the physical and emotional loss of my Mom.  And here is my verbal salute to my Mom; on Wednesdays when I am done taking time for myself I take a good look in a mirror and I say out-loud, "Man, I fucking love Wednesdays."

I feel a little bit like I am working out my grief through this blog and I appreciate those of you who have stayed with me.  Those that have offered sympathy, empathy, an encouraging word; you have no idea what it has meant.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this journey with me and making my load a little lighter to bear. 








1 comments:

midwesterngirl said...

Just read this Kris - so good!

 
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