I've been sitting here reading the notebook I scrawled in on the airplane down to Florida-- when I was trying to keep from pacing up and down the aisle looking like a terrorist -- and I am astounded by some of the things that I wrote.
This time I brought a notebook on the plane, mostly out of fear of being alone with my thoughts for too many hours. I don't have any idea what I'm doing. I'm like a zombie. A robot. A zombie-robot.
She would have thought that was funny. She always found my strangeness funny. And I always obliged because I didn't care if she was laughing with me or at me. As long as she was laughing.
Crying on a plane is so not me. I hope no one sees. And if they do, I hope they just think I'm sick.
Right now I think God has a sick sense of humor.
I was born on a Thursday. Today is Thursday. 32 times 52 is 1664. So, since it's been about 10 weeks since my birthday, I've had my mother for 1675 or so Thursdays. Not enough.*
I think I've been checking my watch every three minutes. God, I can't wait for this flight to be over. Everyone here is either older than my mom or has a baby. One's been screaming since fifteen minutes before we took off.
Need to be off the plane ASAP. Have about an hour to go. Keep trying not to think, not to cry, but it's not like there's a switch I can turn on and off.
I brought a book, but can't bring myself to read, it would just be a waste. I wish I could sleep or even just relax. But my mind's going about a thousand miles a minute. Wish the plane could keep up.
My mom is my designated beneficiary on all my insurance and pension and stuff. I remember telling her once that if anything happened to me, she'd be a very rich lady and wouldn't need to share it with Dad. She told me that I was being horrible and that she would share with him.
I guess I need to change all those forms. Which sucks. On so many levels.
I think, in retrospect, buying an airplane-proof pen was a fantastic idea. Should have bought a notebook with lines, though. Writing on a plane is hard enough, with all the jolts and jostles of varying degrees. My handwriting is all over the place. But at least it's legible. It looks like hers.
I feel bad for my future theoretical children.
Not ten minutes ago, I wrote about how much I want this flight to be over. Then I realized that as soon as I get off the plane and see my dad, my sister, or my Nana -- or any combination thereof -- I'm going to burst into tears, and I don't think I'll be able to stop.
My eyes are already brimming over just thinking about it. So now, maybe I don't want this flight to end. Instead, I want to go back in time, to Monday evening, and I want my mother to get herself to the ER the second she started feeling sick, before the infection got so bad.
I hope this is not what crazy feels like.
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
I hope no one reads this, ever.
I bought this notebook with my mom, the last time I saw her, over Thanksgiving.
I can't remember if it was the day after or the Saturday. Whatever. I can't believe we wasted all that friggin' time on line at the crappy-ass Bealls Outlet so that my dad could buy $3 pants and I could get a notebook with a fancy cover for a quarter.
Who's going to take care of my dad and my Nana?
She wasn't even eligible for Social Security.
I can't believe the last conversation I had with her was about the superbowl and the Catherine Malandrino dress.
This is all so fucked up.
I am too young for this. My parents had their mothers around well into their sixties. I am only 32. I've been cheated of at least 30 years.
Guess she managed to keep me from voting for Obama in the primary after all.
In the car on the way back from the airport, I kept saying "Fucking fuck fuck fuck!" It's like stress-induced Tourette's syndrome.
I broke down for a minute in the bank vault with my Nana. We were getting info about the cemetery so my mom can be buried near her father -- my Pop. Nana told me how my dad'll be buried there too, now -- and I lost it. Two grandparents and one parent in 7 months is enough. More than enough, really.
I talked to my best friend from high school tonight. She was a religion major in college but couldn't really say anything to help me. I told her how my Nana broke down in the car and started to curse God. (At least she believes enough to curse something!)
The conversation was weird, but necessary. How does someone you've known for more than half your life help you get over this?
She just about lost it too when I pointed out that my brother's bar mitzvah was exactly 15 years from next weekend. How did we get so old and our lives get so screwed up?
Just praying that I can manage to get some sleep. This house is fucking weird without her in it.
My dad is a zombie-robot too. It's clearly genetic.
How the fuck is this my life?
I am still hoping that this is some kind of fucked-up fever-induced nightmare -- and that I'll wake up in the morning with everything back to normal.
Mom, I'm sorry about the ear piercing. And the belly button. And the tattoo.
I'm sorry about what a crappy pre-teen I was.
I'm sorry about lying about drinking and sex.
I'm sorry I moved so far away.
I'm sorry I wasn't here.
I love you. You've always been my best friend and biggest supporter and I am so sorry that I didn't tell you that often enough.
I don't know how to be without you.
I don't know how I'm going to make it through the rest of my days without being able to call you just to hear your voice, or to relate something silly.
When I make good decisions, it's always been because of your influence and support. I don't know how I'll function without that.
I am so lost already.
I only freaked out two more times today. Once was when my dad handed me my mom's rings. I just lost it. And honestly, I didn't mean to do it in front of him.
The second was in my car with Nana, when she said something and it brought up the fact that my mother will never see my kids, her grandkids.
She will not be at my wedding. It is all so very backwards.
My dad lost it a little too. He says he has no focus anymore. I am so worried about him having to be here, alone, when we all have to leave.
I can't believe that my mom will never ever make Thanksgiving dinner again.
Everything is so upside-down and backwards. It's not right.
My dad keeps saying that over and over again. That and the fact that it all happened so quickly.
I don't know what to do. It's like I'm living someone else's nightmare right now.
I told my brother and dad about this notebook, how I spent the entire flight writing, and how half of it was the word "fuck."
My brother said that the people next to me probably thought I was schizophrenic. I guess that's better than reporting my behavior to the air marshal.
I keep telling everyone that I'm currently held together with Scotch tape and rubber bands. We'll see how that holds up when we meet with the Rabbi tomorrow.
My mother told me what to do all the time. The small things, anyway -- clean your room, make your bed, don't leave dishes in the sink, that sort of stuff. She never really told me what to do, though. She would always listen and help me decide what to do and encouraged me to follow my instincts. And then, when I made whatever decision, she would tell me how proud she was of me. Like when I decided to take less money to do what I wanted to do. She was proud of the level of thought that I had given it -- but mostly she was proud of it as an expression of my priorities -- how it was better to be happy than to make more money. She took special pride in that one, even if it meant that I wasn't going to buy her any more designer handbags. Secretly, though, she was happy because she knew I'd be able to take more vacation. In theory, anyway.
My mother had the most beautiful hands.
My mother had the most beautiful laugh.
My mother's eyes were somewhere between sky blue and a cloudy sky. On the way back to the house from the airport, the northeast corner of the sky was the exact same color as her eyes.
These are things I hope I never forget.
*It was actually exactly 1680 Thursdays, but who needs to get bogged down in the details?