Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some things I would rather forget

I opened my Christmas present. It was a matching bra and panty set. It was green (my favorite color.) My mother smiled proudly thinking she has done well. I look up at my mom completely embarrassed. I shove it back in the gift bag.

Two days later, I am in my car pulling out of the driveway. My mom comes running out with the gift bag that I had "forgotten." "Don't you like them?" she asks. "They're fine." I say. I toss the bag into the backseat thinking to myself how I will never wear them.

That night I call to thank my mom for her gift. I knew I had acted ungrateful. I tried calling, but got no answer. It was December 27. I was back at college and I was packing to go spend the new year with my boyfriend (R. - my now ex-husband). I was one was in the dorms during this time of year. So I kept trying to call.

Then I had a knock on my door. "Strange." I thought. "Didn't know anyone else knew I was here."

I walked to my door. My dorm supervisor stood in front of me. I'm sure I must have given her a strange look because she never came to your door unless you were being unruly and loud - I was being neither. She, without hesitation, said, "Dawn, there's been an accident and your mom was killed."

I fell back into my dorm room banging the door against the wall. Everything moved in slow motion. I could hear myself screaming, "NOOOOOOooooo!" The room was spinning. I now realize, I was probably very close to fainting, but it just felt as if this was not happening to me; like I was just an outsider watching it.

My dorm supervisor followed me into my room and tried to hug me. I wedged myself in between mine and my roommate's bed and in between sobs yelled,"Don't touch me! I mean it, don't touch me! It's not true. It's not true. I was just there. It's not true."

Shortly thereafter, my roommate called. They had called her first trying to see who they could find that could have been with me when I found out, but no one was there...everyone was home with their families for Christmas. She consoled me as much as she could over the phone and said she would be there in the morning since the roads were snow covered.

Then my aunt called. She said my youngest brother had also been in the car and that he was in critical condition and was currently in surgery. Then she told me that my other two brothers had not been called yet. I took that as my responsibility.

How do you tell the most important people in the world that their/your mother has died? Somehow, I managed to do it and then sat sobbing on the phone with them.

Every time I thought I couldn't cry another tear, a wave of overwhelming sadness would come over me. I called R. and he immediately got on the road coming back from Texas.

My dorm supervisor insisted on sleeping in my room, even though I told her that I would be fine...that I just needed some time alone. When I finally didn't cry for over an hour, she decided that I was "stable" enough.

As soon as I knew she was completely out of earshot, I fell over in convulsions. My whole body shook as I screamed "WHY?!! Why! Why!" repeatedly until my voice was hoarse and my body was worn. I received no answer to help with the realization that I would never talk to my mom again.

It's not a memory that I bring to the forefront of my mind very often.

Yes, her death was sudden and tragic.

But the reason I don't like to think about it is because the last time I was with my mother, the last memory she had of me, I was being an ungrateful B...and that's something I would rather forget.


  1. Oh Dawn. I just have no words.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I've been thinking about it since I read it on Friday. It made me cry. I'm tearing up just thinking about it again.

    All I can think about is that as a mom, no matter what my last interaction was with my child, if I had a moment to reflect before I passed away, I know it would be a beautiful one. One of happiness and laughter. A snapshot of her face when she smiled. The feeling of her arms around my neck. Of how much I loved her.

    And because of this I'm SURE that your mom's last thought of you was one she cherished most.

  3. Okay, I only thought I was crying after reading your last post. It was a horrible day. I'm so sorry you had to go through it alone. We were all so consumed with our own loss and concern for Nick, that we neglected you. And, I am very sorry about that.

    You know your mom is up in heaven, looking down and thinking, "Oh, Dawn. I didn't even think twice about the bra/panty incident. I didn't have the heart to tell you that I got myself a matching set!" LOL! Trust me, your mom is up there keeping everyone in stitches.

  4. Despite that brief moment in time, your mother knew you loved her and that is what matters.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  5. *gets verklempt & teary*

    Thank you for sharing this very hard moment. I can't even...

    She knew you loved her. :)


  6. Dang. That just plain old sucks. That it happened, and the way you found out. Sucks.


  7. But as a mom you know that we don't think about those bad things. We shove them aside and concentrate on the good. This is one of those times you have to forgive yourself, because I can promise you that this was never an issue for her at all.

  8. Oh honey! (((hugs))) Thank you for sharing that with us. I know you're mom didn't even pass a second thought about that. She's probably thinking of all the wonderful times you two had. (((hugs))) again cuz I can't help it.

  9. That is very raw! I feel for you to have to carry that with you - but as a Mother - I can tell you that's not the thing that would stand out in my mind when I thought of my own daughter.

  10. Wow, what a horrible way to lose your mother. I am sorry that your last interaction with her was that way. Did your brother pull through I hope?

  11. Wow! That is rough! Just reading it, I do not want to believe it!

  12. She knew you loved her. I am so sorry though that you had to lose your mother at such a young age.

  13. oh wow...I am so sorry you were so young when this happened. Like others have said, she knew you loved her, and she loved you. We all screw up and whatnot, she loved you so much in spite of your (very human) flaws. Thank you for sharing this story, this bit of your heart <3

  14. I am so sorry. Reading this just knocked the wind right out of me ... I am so sorry.

  15. Oh, Dawn. I am so sorry. My sister died in a car accident when I was 16. An unexpected death is horrible and shocking and something no one should have to go through.

    Take comfort in knowing your mom KNEW you loved her. You're a mom now, you know how it can be!
    Happy SITS day again!

  16. Moms know we love them even when we act like jerks! And as important as that moment became to you, I'm guessing that it wasn't even a blip on your mom's radar.

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I hope you find some healing in the telling. It is a reminder to everyone to attempt the impossibility of living in every moment fully. As a mother yourself, you know that the love between mother and child is too powerful to be altered by slights. But, I know that the regret must sting painfully for you.

  18. Being a mom means seeing through our children's moments that lack appreciation - and seeing straight into their hearts! It takes a lot of effort - and I bet a mom that had the nerve to buy your a green bra and panty set had the nerve to see into your heart! What a tremendous experience to show the importance of unconditional love - which it seems you both possessed!

  19. I am so sorry you had to go through this...and I'm sure are still going through it every day. I'm sure your Mom thought nothing but wonderful thoughts about you...she was once a teenager herself. :) I hope you have healed as much as could be expected since then.


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