Today is December 3rd. Three years ago at 12:06pm, on this day, my Mom won her battle with stage four breast cancer, with metastasis to her liver, her lungs and her brain, and her heart stopped beating. My Mom was 66 years old. My Mom was a mother and a wife for just over 46 years and that is all she ever wanted to be…a wife and a Mom. My mom was a good wife and my mom was a good mom and my blog today is in honor of and in loving memory of my Mom, Sherry Marie Ricketts.
My soul struggles today. My heart aches with each heartbeat this morning. This gut-wrenching, life-leveling and completely inconsolable pain is upon me and I feel crushed by its weight this morning. My mom is dead and I can’t fucking take it. Three years and yet no time has passed at all. Today, right now…I am right back there.
5:21am and I awake, although I’ve not slept in two months, to my Dad calling down the hall for me. We need to change your mom again. No wait…that was a few days ago. On this morning I got up to let Tamara out, so she can get up the mountain and feed everyone. Tamara came down last night to be with me…to be with us. My Mom has been non-verbal and non-responsive for days now. Aging with every breath she takes…we cannot not know that my mom is going home soon.
Preparing her meds, I hear her gasping in the other room for breath. I can’t fucking take it anymore and I call hospice and she says she will be right there. One of the kindest souls I’ve ever known…an angel came and she said we were getting close. I asked her how close and she said hours to maybe a day. My mom had lost her gag reflex and time was short. Time was so short in fact that it was only a couple of hours between hospices last visit and my calling them back to help me. God damn it I needed someone to help me. My Mom, lying dead in our den, was not there to help me, and I collapsed and I wept and I fucking died in that den too. My dad and I died in that den and we did not know what to do. I had to call my little brother and tell him that mom just died and he died and almost wrecked his car on that day too. I had to call Tamara and I had to tell her that mom was gone. I broke. I wailed. I went completely silent. I went out to smoke, hoping she would be breathing when I came back in. She was not. We all died a little bit that day. We all had absolutely no fucking idea what we were about to be facing…we had no guidance anymore. We were babies, all of us, and we didn’t know what in the fuck to do without that lifeless woman lying there telling us…guiding us…helping us. My God! Please help us!!!
Three years ago and yet I am there now, with and without my mom. I am in the studio she built for me, in front of the fire she insisted that I have and I am without my mom. The cold of that cannot be warmed by this fire. My soul screams this morning and my heart aches for my mom. I just want my mom right now. This is not just another day to me. Maybe someday it will be and today is not that day. December 3, 2015…a million fucking lifetimes ago and right fucking now…1095 days ago…26,280 hours ago…1,576,800 minutes ago…Three years ago on this day, time changed…life changed…I changed…and today I honor the place in me that needs to honor my mom today. And so it is.
Sherry was my Mom…Shawn’s Mom…and countless other people’s mom when they needed her to be.Sherry was Fred’s wife. Sherry was a friend to so many of you…a confidant and a crusader for so many of you. We know her differently and ever the same. We love her differently and ever the same, don’t we? Many of you hurt today too, don’t you? I feel you and I want you to know that I love you. I feel you. I miss those fucking high heels 👠 clicking towards me too.
My mom always told me that I should write. “Sugar, you write so well. Why don’t you write a book? You tell your story so well Sugar, why don’t you be a stand up comedian? Sugar, how do you spell…? Sugar, you write and draw and paint so well…you are an artist and a poet…why don’t you write and illustrate your own book? Maybe a book of your animals at the Sanctuary? Sugar, you are going to write, aren’t you?” Yes Mom. I am going to write. I began writing soon after I realized that was the only thing that could possibly, maybe, save me, and that was a year ago when I started coralsblog I am painting again mom and two of my pieces are in a local art show tomorrow evening, at Effing Bar (coincidence? I think not). I never wanted to be a Mom and my mom didn’t understand it…and she knew it just the same. My mom knew who I wanted to be…who I would be…she bought me their books…Shakespeare…Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso…Michael Jackson…Wayne Dyer Mickey Mouse and Jesus…Shel Silverstein…Dr. Seuss…just to name a few. I don’t know it then and I am grateful to know it now…my mom knew who I was and she knew I was here to do great things…amazing and huge things. I don’t think either of us realized that she would have to die for me to do it. This blog would not exist if my mom were still alive and so I do what I do. For every negative, I offer three positives:
My mom is dead and I can’t call her on the phone.
1. Because my mom has left her body, she is my biggest fan and no longer my biggest critic. For this new relationship with the woman I call my mom, I am eternally thankful.
2. Because my story is my own and because I am allowed to tell it, I am thankful that my mom is supportive and encouraging from where she is, as she was unable to be supportive of my being public about what happened in our family while she was in her body. My mom is my inspiration for much of my story now and I am so grateful.
3. I am so thankful that I had 42 years with my mom. I am thankful for the woman strong enough to carry me in and humble enough to let me carry her out. For every breath I lose missing my mom, someone else never got the time to know their mom at all. For the things I take for granted, I am becoming aware and I am so blessed.
Today, I stand before you making a different choice than I did a year ago…two years ago…on this day. I will not stand at her grave and weep…she is not there…she does not sleep. I am here and I do not sleep either. A little tiny pig needs a ride to her forever home this morning. I had scheduled my first work day with the little co-operative that we’ve been dreaming up, purposely to be on December 3rd, to begin a new, to awaken anew on this morning. We sadly canceled yesterday due to inclement weather and bad roads. So, that freed us up to jump in our Jeep and four wheel up out of here to be of service for a little bit today…and I am so fucking thankful! “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Thank you Dr.Wayne Dyer. Up there with my mom this morning.,.please tell her I say hello and I love her Wayne. “Coral, you know I will.” And so it is.
I honor the woman who selflessly carried me in, a warrior in her womb and often a thorn in her side, this morning, knowing she would have to die for me to do my work. I honor the woman who was a warrior this morning. I honor the warrior in each of you this morning.
I love you mom. Today, in loving memory and honor of our mom, Tamara and I will be of service and be together. I will cry a lot. I will laugh a lot. I will appreciate your love and prayers and texts a lot. I love you.