It is the clove of seasons, summer is swirling down, down, dead, but fall has not yet become in this bittersweet process we call change. This change has been the ruins of my existence, the oblivion in which I stand, and the ominous clouds that blunder over me, scowling down into the miserable survival in which I am a victim to. I sit on the balcony, looking down.
Nothing is different, but nothing is the same in this bastial world of injustice.
And I remember my mother, Stephanie Than.
It was on a day, just like this one, that she passed of a terrible stroke, and I was pulled out of algebra to watch her, dead in a hospital cot. Daddy held me, shoulders shaking, everything shaking, the room shaking and the monitor shaking, but of course I didn’t notice, because I was shaking too. Tears were streaming down my eyes, red lights blazing before me and the whirling of the earth as it spun around, around; this ungodly world that takes people before their time and never gives them back.
Her death was like a brick wall to the face. I used to think I was surrounded by this protective bubble, like this kind of stuff didn’t happen to people like me. Like it was too absurd to ever happen to me; this bad luck was something of another world.
But I was wrong, dead wrong, and I had the feeling as though I was being punched in the gut, shot in the head. It’s like everything stopped around me, and all I could feel was numbness yet I felt everything all at once.
I remember one day, we were sitting in a restaurant, not a fancy one, just a come-in-your-jeans restaurant and I smiled at her, her beautiful blue eyes radiated out to the world. We both stared, for a long time, into each other’s eyes, until she burst out laughing and I did too. We looked like fools, but we didn’t care.
She was one of those people you could tell anything to, and she’d know how to respond to it. She was one of those people that you could talk to and she could bring you up out of a slump, or down into a numb with her piercing and melancholy words.
She always used to tell me that the only thing I was doing was perpetuating the darkness and chasing out the light, even when I didn’t think I was perpetuating anything, even when I didn’t know what perpetuating meant. She was a psychologist and saw much darkness, and she always made sure I didn’t end up in her patient files.
And I was grateful for her, she was a beautiful princess that died a brilliant death, so sudden, she was ripped out of my world like velcro.
But I never really went through denial; I knew she was gone, I saw her body in the casket at the funeral, I said my last words.
But she didn’t hear how much I loved her, and there was so much more I could’ve said before she died, and my eyes well up with tears, why didn’t I say those things before? Why had I held back?
Now she’ll never know how much I wanted her in my life, now she’ll never know that I loved her to death, and I would trade anything for her, now she’ll never know how much I needed her, despite how close we were. We told each other everything. We drove to Old Town Spring together and got ice creams at the little Dutch place around the corner from the bead shop, with the little red tablecloths and red leather seats. Then we’d make bracelets, blue, black, red, and we’d watch time fly by and we’d talk about everything.
But I know these things won’t happen again, because she’s gone, and there’s nothing I can do about it. And she’s gone, gone, gone, one minute she’s here and the next she’s… somewhere else and I’m still here, oh God, how I just want to be with her again, but I can’t, there’s no way I can just leave and never come back.
It was still warm outside when she passed, September twentieth, 2013. It is September twenty first today, 2014, a year and one day after her death.
Remembering the anniversary of one’s death is the hardest thing, it feels as if you’re dead, not the person who is.
Though I wonder what I will accomplish in this bastial world, this planet still spins and Mother is gone, and I wish I could’ve said more.
I remember, we used to play 80’s music from old movies in the car and we’d sing along, we used to dance like no one was watching because no one was watching, and we used to swim in our pool in the backyard and see who could touch the other side the fastest.
And then she died. I saw her pale face, her seizures and I can’t wash her bitter shaking out of my head. Every time I close my eyes, I see her and another tear falls and it’s like she’s still there, I can’t grasp the fact that one day she was here, the next she was gone.
I guess I was in a little bit of a denial, but not a “I refuse to believe” kind of denial, just a slow and painful “is she really gone?” Is she really not there anymore? Because all of me is wishing this is just a dream, and when I wake up, everything will be okay. I wish this was all just a terrible, horrible nightmare.
It’s a miracle I got out of where I was, it’s a miracle I didn’t die too, that first year she was gone. But Daddy stopped me; it would be too selfish to take my own life if he was being so strong for me.
And so I stayed, and I’m glad for it. Because it does get better, and I know that nobody believes me, because it’s such a cliche thing to say, but I’ve been through it.
I’m still not okay with what happened, but I can accept it. Daddy and I are very close - closer than I’ve ever been with him.
I’m a freshman now, starting in a new place and a new life, and it’s simply gorgeous on the other side. But the only thing one can do is wait for the clove to pass, this desperate change and this painful sorrow, and let it ride its course, just let it do what it can to you; don’t fight back, because if you do, you’ll just perpetuate the darkness.
I’m not the girl I used to be, nor do I want to be, the girl in a bubble, the girl stuck in her own daydream, the girl waiting for Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet.
Now I know I have to find happiness, now I know I have to find myself in this world of misery and confusion.
Because loss dehumanizes you, and I have to learn to be human again, just like if I were a survivor of war, or a cancer, I need to learn how to live again, how to fight when my strength is gone.
I hate this life that I’ve been dealt, but I know that I will get through this no matter what. It sounds cheesy now, but you’ll understand when you get to the other side. Now she’s gone, and there’s nothing I can do about it. My mother, Stephanie Than, has a special place in my heart for when I go back there and I need her. But until then, goodbye, the one with the startling blue eyes and a tragic end, and goodbye, the one wrapped in cellophane and trapped in a bubble, and goodbye survival and hello life.