Happy 2014. Another year…another spotty commitment to blogging.
Typically I get overly apologetic about my long hiatuses between posts. But this go around I’m going to give myself a free pass. If you’re reading this, chances are you are a family member or a friend and you know full well why I’ve been MIA. If you happen to be a reader coming from across the interwebs to enjoy my ramblings (first thank you!), I won’t tap dance around it. My absence has been a direct result of losing my mother to stomach cancer in November.
Before you race to the comments section to tell me how sorry you are, don’t worry about it. I know you’re sorry. Who wouldn’t be sorry? You’d have to be Satan incarnate to not feel bad for a girl who lost her Mom. I’ve drafted a lot of posts about losing her, and I fully intend to actually follow through and post about it at some point. The sub-title of this blog promises wit, but let’s be real, it’s really just a collection of stories that could more easily be called “The World According to Amanda, In Case You Might Care.”
So yeah, there might be some semi-downer posts coming out in 2014. Potential titles include: Fuck You Cancer…No Really, Fuck You; 10 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Mom Died; Dear Hallmark, Fuck You Too, Sympathy Cards Are Dumb; Why You Should Definitely Drive Half Way Across the Country With Your Dad; Some Awesome Things My Mom Taught Me That I’m Willing To Share With You. All working titles and subject to change, obviously.
One thing I am willing to write about is one of the many reasons my Mom was quite possibly the most selfless and freakin’ genius mom ever. So I moved to Austin a little over 4 months ago knowing full well that my Mom’s time was limited. The prognosis was never great, but my mom was a fighter and you kinda just enter this alternate reality of wishful thinking with these things. So when I got offered the interview for my current job I called my mom hysterical crying. I was jumping ahead in my mind to getting offered the job (cocky I know, but hey, I did get it so….just sayin’) and I was terrified of leaving the east coast and her feeling like I was abandoning her while she was facing this terrible thing.
First, she calmed me down by pointing out that I didn’t have a job offer so I needed to slow my roll. Then she said she’d never tell me I couldn’t go. I responded that she could totally tell me I couldn’t go. She was the one with the Big C and she got to make the rules and if she told me I needed to stay in Boston, I would suck it up and stay. Period.
When I actually got offered the job, and visited Austin, and started to feel like this was just the change I needed I called her again. She told me I needed to do this, not despite the fact she was sick, but because she was. She said I needed to take the job because I needed to have a life that was my own.
At the time I didn’t understand that. I told myself I’d be budgeting it in to fly home every other month to see her, so that I was home just as frequently as I had been when I lived in driving distance. It didn’t occur to me that she’d get so sick so fast. And I certainly didn’t anticipate starting 2014 already half an orphan. But now that that is my reality I understand what my Mom did for me in helping me make this huge move.
As I walked from my downtown one-bedroom apartment to the farmer’s market I’ve posted about in the past, green juice in hand, about to see all the dogs and the children and buy local farm fresh produce to begin the post-holiday detox I realized exactly what she has given me. She has given me a place that is all mine; that is proof that I’m going to be ok without her. It’s proof I’m going to be ok because I’ve already laid the foundation for this happy chapter in my life and I did it all on my own. I couldn’t have had a happier Saturday morning yesterday and when I swapped out my finished juice for a cup of coffee it honestly felt like she was smiling and saying “I told you. I told you’d be fine, look how fine you are.” You were right Mom. Totally right.