1998. My mother was alive then, just a couple of years from developing the lump she'd ignore in her breast. Just a couple of years from dying.
1998. My mother was struggling to feed us(we were only two, then), working herself to death. We had an apartment in the low-income housing area of a nice city in southern California. Jeremy and I wanted for nothing, though both of us were aware that something was amiss. We had only eachother most afternoons and evenings. I'd cook him some dinner and we'd play Sega Genesis until I decided it was bedtime. Mom would come home from work, visibly exhausted, and tell us she loved us and go right to bed.
It was 1998. I'd certainly known pain by then. But I never, ever could've imagined the shards of it that'd tear me to pieces just two years later. And how it'd endure, an injury that'd want to speak with me whenever it was cold out. It's faded, sure, but still prone to flare-ups.
She died in the early morning of August 30th, 2000 in New York City. Her name was Jessica. She was 38 years old. My poor dear Jeremy was 6. Craig was 1. Jeremy had arrived with his father, John by plane just as she died. His plane was landing as she took her last breath. He never got to say goodbye. He just missed her. I'd never seen his father cry before that day.
My mother was cold when we got there. No one had told me she died. I had no idea where we were going that dark early morning until I was standing in front of her corpse. I was in shock. John was on his knees, holding my mother's poor rigor mortise inflicted hand, bawling and asking her "Why?". And she'd never answer, never ever.
And me? I'd never, ever forget my poor behaviour with her as she lay dying. Never ever forget making her cry because I didn't want to spend the night with her in the hospital. I couldn't cope. I'd never ever forget watching her vomit almost everything she ate up, though she tried to eat in front of me to please me. Tried to pretend she was okay. I'd never ever forget how the radiation shrunk her body. I'd never ever forget the cups and cups of pills she'd take in the hospital. Never ever forget her skin peeling off in sheets in her shower before she was hospitalised but after she was diagnosed. Never forget watching her beautiful body waste away, her nails fall off her fingers, her hair fall out of her head. Never, ever, ever forget.
And now? My pain is crystalline, little knives carved of ice and lodged right into my poor eggshell heart. And I can't... I can't change anything. I don't even know if I'd want to. I don't know why I feel obligated to do anything. It wouldn't matter, not really.
It just hurts so bad.