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I don’t understand how someone so selfless, someone who cared so much for others, could be plucked so easily from society, like a single strand of hair from a head, as if nothing had changed.
I never realized how many people she had affected, how many lives she had touched within her short forty years. I look back now and see all the people who could tell me how much she affected them. There are so many people that she helped. She was selfless, the kind of person who, no matter what, would always put you before herself. Yet she only got forty years with us. Forty years and no more. I never truly realized how much she affected other people, because she was mine. My mom, my best friend, the one person who understood me. And yet she only got forty years. Not enough time. Not enough time to see me go to college, or get married, or to be given grandchildren of her own; and how great of a grandmother she truly would have been. More importantly than that though, she didn’t get nearly enough time with my sister. She didn’t to see her turn six, to see her start first grade. She did not get enough time, granted few people do.
I don’t quite often think of her. Of course she is always lingering in the back of my mind, once in awhile memories of her will dance to center stage and she will consume my every thought. I don’t think of her in the way that she is gone, though. I don’t ever truly pause life, to realize that she is no longer in it, that she is gone, and I will never again be able to see her smile, or hold her hand, or hear her soothing voice as she comforts me. I suppose that is because if I don’t think of those things they will not seem as true. If I don’t linger on the fact that she is gone, I can almost pretend that she is away on a very long trip. But I know that is just a lie I tell myself so that I will not feel as helpless. I know that this is a pain I have to deal with.
I can see the people around me moving on-- healing, but I cannot.
She was my one true friend; the glue holding me together. Without her I never really stood a chance. Even before she left, the anxiety and depression had already taken a hold in my mind. I can remember my first panic attack clear as day, when I was sitting in Latin class and all to suddenly I could not breathe, could not understand what was happening so that a million questions ran through my head at a million miles an hour.
Why does it feel as if my entire world is caving in around me, like I am in a box ten sizes too small for me, forced to stay there for eternity? What -- what is happening to me? Why everyday do I go to school and spend time with friends and laugh, and yet inside I want to be anywhere but here? I can’t get far enough away from everything I know, and yet when I’m not inside the safeness of my house, but in far away lands, the anxiety becomes even greater.
These diseases had already set themselves in my mind, and it was only a matter of time before she was gone and I was left alone to wade through the swamp.
It’s been two years now. For a while I was getting better, thought maybe I would be okay, that the bi-weekly trips to see a therapist was enough to keep my ragged mind in check. Then this year came along. 2016, the year that everyone jokes is society’s downfall, well, it is also mine.
The beginning of the year came, and along with it my father’s decision to start dating again.
And I understood why, understood that he was lonely, as we all were, that he still wanted-- needed compassion in his life. Everyone was asking me, “Aren’t you happy for your dad?” And I truly was happy that he had found someone he liked and could confide in. I don’t think they understood that. I was happy for him… but could anyone see how much it was hurting me? Did no one understand how much it pained me to see my dad move on, from my mother? It was always supposed to be my dad and my mom, Lisa and Darrell, and suddenly it wasn’t (maybe it hadn’t been for a long time, but I believed it still had been). Suddenly he had moved on ready to take on new relationships, and I was left behind in the dust.
Even now, while I have a relationship with my dad’s new “girlfriend” (I hate that word. How childish it sounds, not at all fit for someone like my dad, a former lawyer), it still pains me that is it not my mother. The anxiety and depression has returned to my mind, everyday is a challenge that I must take on, and there is not a thing in the world that I wouldn’t give to have the pain taken away.
I often find my escape in words, my one true love. Whether they are words written on a page, strung together by a creator of worlds and stories, or words sung by an artist who paints canvases of beautiful tragedies. I used to believe that they were my only real distraction from life. I realize now, though, that is not true in any way. Words are not my distraction from life, but rather are my life. Words are the building blocks upon which my story was created, the one thing that makes up my whole being. They are all I need now, and all I will ever need, the beautiful sounds of words.