So, I said I would get off the habit of blogging too much about my mom, but I think it’s a good idea to reflect on the positive side of something horrible happening to you. In my family’s case, the silver lining was learning that people, as a whole, do not *entirely* suck. We learned by experience that there are some pretty awesome people out there.
1) The church: The Methodist Church my mom was a member of continued to send us cards in the mail throughout the nine months Mom was sick, despite the fact that my mom hadn’t attended their church since Bush was elected to a second term. They also anonymously sent us a large sum of money. We figured out it was them when we noticed the handwriting on the card the money came in looked suspiciously like the handwriting on one or two of the church’s cards. Also, at my mom’s calling hours, my dad asked the preacher about it, who said in an ominous tone that he didn’t know what Dad was talking about.
2) Sue. My brother’s friend’s mother, a nurse in training, brought dish after dish for my family to eat, in a time when the only cook among us was ill, and when no one else had time to pick it up. She was also there the night Mom died, and called us all in to the room before it was too late. We owe a lot to Sue. She kept on coming over even after our dog nipped at her hand that one time. Speaking of nurses in training, Brandon’s mom stayed with my family for a week when my mom was diagnosed that March. She cooked and kept us all company during some dark days.
3) Jessie. Jessie reached out to me again and again, in every way she knew how, during that year. She wasn’t afraid to ask how I was doing, and didn’t even seem to regret asking if the answer involved me bursting into tears. She got my homework assignments I missed in the journalism classes we had together, and even picked up my duties as editor-in-chief of the paper when the worst happened.
4) All the Muskingum people, friends and faculty, who came all the way to my hometown to pay their respects. And there were a lot of them. At least four or five professors came, and most of the people who lived in the BACCHUS House were there, along with a couple cars full of friends I have who had already graduated.
5) Chandra. Chandra was the voice of experience in my life at that time, having lost her father at age 18. She stayed with me for a few days the week of the funeral, and offered the advantage of being my same dress size when she let me borrow a black dress, since I didn’t have one.
A lot of people came by to see us. Some brought food, some brought humor, but they all brought relief. My mom was always happy to see someone, even when she was clearly feeling her worst. It was really an amazing thing, and we had never felt so loved. Our community has been known for being gossipy (most small towns are) but you can’t say they aren’t generous of their time and good cooking. You couldn’t help but feel better about humanity after going through that.
As I have been realizing more and more this week, there were at least a few good thing to come out of the disaster that was my life in 2007. I now send cards to strangers who have lost someone, whenever an e-mail goes around at work or among friends. I grieve for and with others because I know it sucks to do it alone. I know now to ask how people are doing when I know things are rocky. My family is now closer than we ever were, and we will never forget how important we are to each other. I am closer to my aunt now, because I think she feels like part of me is still in need of a mom. And since I am, I appreciate her stepping up to the task.
I hope this entry makes you more happy than sad, since that is how it is intended. This has been on my mind lately, along with a lot of other things. I don’t want to sound too Pollyanna here, but I want to keep believing that deep down, people really are inherently good. Please keep proving me right, and maybe I can prove it true to others.