I remember from my childhood very vividly my dad wearing a shirt with a crane on the back of it. Inside of the crane’s mouth was a frog with its hands wrapped around the crane’s neck that refused to be swallowed. That resonated with me throughout the years. It was a testament to my parents’ hard work and perseverance.
They both lost their fathers at a young age, but still they both decided to join the Air Force and serve their country. They had many very difficult days. When my mother made the difficult decision to leave the Air Force to take care of me they were forced to live on a single income. Yet, my mother ensured that I was taken care of, that the house was immaculate, and we had the most amazing meals. My dad had the best lunches in the shop. Every day she would load up a large paper bag with delectables. They started to work on a newspaper route to earn extra money, and despite bad weather that led to one of them driving into a ditch, they made it work. During this time, my parents rededicated their lives to Christ and gained true hope. My mother always told me that life wouldn’t always be easy. I remember our many talks in person and on the phone. She instilled perseverance and tenacity in me. That has helped me achieve my goal of getting the Air Force to allow me to go to law school and be accepted to the top law school of my choice.
Yet, during this time period, when I should be rejoicing, I’ve never wanted to give up more. Words cannot even describe the hurt, sadness and loneliness I’ve felt since I’ve lost my mom. I’ve constantly been surrounded by people, but I’ve felt like I cannot relate to a large number of those people. I’ve went through all of the stages of grief, and I’ve even attended Grief Share classes. Through Grief Share, I met another girl who is going through a similar experience. She lost her mother to breast cancer, and is also a newlywed, but our schedules have been conflicting so we haven’t gotten a chance to meet up yet. Still, talking to others who are going through the same thing has helped me realize the way I feel is normal.
I think the pain has been exacerbated by the fact that I’ve put on a happy face to mask my pain. When I knew my mom was sick, I held it close to my heart and tried not to let it affect my life. She didn’t want me to give up on everything. When I lost my mom, I had no time for a pity party, I had to help my dad through open-heart surgery, look out for my little nephew, try to be a good wife, work hard in the office, study for the LSAT, and apply to law school and the Air Force program to come back as a JAG. My dad is healthy and back to his normal workout routines, my nephew is with his mom, my husband LOVES me, I’ve been very successful at work, and I will be attending law school this upcoming August. But still I hurt. I find it hard to swallow the fact that I will graduate law school without her there snapping pictures and shouting, That’s my baby, and the fact that she won’t be there when I have my first child.
At the end of the day, I will make it. I am my mother’s daughter, and I know she passed on at least a fraction of her strength to her baby girl. I have hope. I have faith. And I definitely have love. But I’d like to let everyone know that I need time. The last thing I need is another person telling me how to live or how to respond. I need time to reflect, time to regroup, and time to look after me. So I just wanted to let you all know that I’m okay, I’m just going through this human emotion of grieving. I don’t want your sympathy, just understanding. I hurt, but I will be fine.