Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mamasay . . . Part 2

Quincy was born on January 7th, 2009 at 10:15pm, and, along with my dad, my mom was one of the first people to greet him. She had tears in her eyes as she watched me nursing him. She gazed at him with such adoration that my tears matched hers. I will never forget that moment. My Mamasay. Q's Gram.

I knew it was difficult for my mom to not be able to help us out when we took Q home, but we managed just fine. She was a phone call away when I needed advice or to vent. And she came to visit with my dad a couple of times so they could at least hold him while I grabbed some food. And I drove the 45 minutes to their house with Q once I knew he I could handle it. I remember going to the bathroom as my mom mimicked Q's coos back to him and I could overhear their little conversation and knew he was smiling at her. And it reminded me of my mom before she got sick, when she was goofy and relatively carefree. He was about 5 and a half weeks old when we had our last visit with her. I'm so glad they shared that special conversation.

The Sunday before she passed, T and I had plans to take Q down to my parents' house for another visit and to watch the Oscars. We had a tradition of watching the Oscars at their house with lots of decadent snacks, drinks, and filling out ballots to see who guessed the most wins correctly. Always a blast. I looked forward to it every year. That morning, my dad called to say that my mom wasn't feeling well and didn't think she could handle company. I was worried of course, but not that worried since I figured this was just one of her bad days. My mom called me later to tell me not to worry, that she was really tired and would rather sleep. That was the last time I spoke with my mom.

When I got the call from my dad the next morning, I was nursing Q. The news socked me in the stomach and I began to lose it. Q, all of 7 weeks old, looked up at me with curiosity in his little eyes. I had to calm down for Q. Fortunately T was home with me that day, too. I don't know what I would have done without him there. I realized that I could manage the crazy days ahead of us because I had my boys with me.

I could go on and on about how difficult this all was and how difficult it still can be, but I want to focus on some of the positives right now. Quincy was (and is) my light, my angel. He was such a calm baby and even slept through most of her funeral service and the raucous celebration of her life afterward. He kept me sane through the darkest days. And the support I received from T -- I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Above all, my mom provided the ultimate example of the mother I hope to be. A giver, a confidante, someone to laugh with, someone to cry with, a great friend but always a mother. She taught me to be strong, but that it's okay to let your vulnerability show sometimes, too. (Hi vulnerability!) Her spirit reminds me to celebrate the optimist in me, to be grateful for what I have. My health, my healthy family, my beautiful home, my amazing friends. The sense of humor she gave me. I'm so grateful that she was in my life at all and that she is no longer in pain. On the days when I can sense the darkness hovering around the edges, threatening to seep in, I try to remember these things. I make gratitude lists. I laugh at myself. I know things are going to be okay.

But how I miss her. Every day. How I miss you, Mamasay.


  1. tears in my eyes :( thank you for sharing.

  2. Krissy/Red9/2/10, 9:09 AM

    Yes, thank you Mich. That was beautiful. Terri was such a bright light. I am so grateful she brought you and D into this world. She will live on through you two and now through little Q man! What amazing gifts she's given us all. xxoo

  3. Beyond words.

    I couldn't be more proud of you.

    Thinking about a lot this month for obvious reason and this piece is apropos and poignant for the multitude of thoughts floating in my head these days.

    Know that we are honoring you, Terri and others not able to join us in person on 10/1/10 during our ceremony.

  4. Thank you so much for commenting. I wasn't sure how peeps would react to such a post.

    Kye, my heart sinks every time I think about not being there for your big day. I hate practicalities. But that's awesome that you plan to honor those who can't make it. We will be there in spirit - mos def.

  5. i can't even imagine how hard that must have been. you sound like you have a real gift for getting through painful times. i think it might be a mom thing.

  6. Michie, that was such a beautiful post, I am tearing up.
    I'm glad that you were able to write and share this with us. Sending you big hugs and love.