Monday, March 15, 2010

When the Guilt of Your Past... Pt. 2

It was April 25, 2008, two weeks and two days before my graduation. It had been a long four years at the University of Illinois and finally, the day I was waiting for, was fastly approaching. I had been watching the B'Day DVD, with all of Beyonce's recorded videos, when I my phone rang. "Imagine me, loving what I see when the mirror looks at me cause I, I imagine me..." Hearing that ringtone let me know it was one of my family members. It was my sister. "Buzz me in, I'm outside," she said. "Outside where?" "In your lobby, duh!" "Whatever, no you're not." "Yes, I am, me and daddy." "No you're not!" This convo went on for about thirty seconds. I was stalling. Throwing things in closets to "straighten up," just in case this wasn't a prank.

Sure enough, when I stepped outside my apartment, the first apartment in the corridor, I saw my daddy and sis through the hallway door. I was estatic! I ran up to my daddy giving him hugs and kisses, just like a daddy's girl should. To what did I owe this pleasure? I remembered asking that about ten times in seven different ways and I got no response. My dad and sis got settled in my apartment and for about forty five minutes, my sis and I finished watching the Beyonce video together, singing and dancing. When the video went off, I searched for something else to put in the DVD player in order to entertain my guests. "Why don't you leave it off?" my dad said. I just figured he was sick of Beyonce, so it was no big deal. Then he looked at me. It was a funny look, a look in my eyes, into my soul and then he uttered the words "Mommy died."

"MY MOMMY!?!" I screamed. My dad just nodded. With that confirmation I bawled over, uncontrollable tears and the shakes. I remembered tears like this from when I was just eight years old and I woke up in the middle of the night after hearing a scream come from my mothers bedroom. When I walked in her room, I saw her shaking uncontrollably. "Mommy get up, wake up." I remembered saying. I remembered calling 911 and saying "my mommy won't wake up, she shaking and she won't wake up." I remembered those tears from when I taped a rhinestone on a spot of blood that had soaked through her mattress from when she had bit her tongue. I remembered those tears as I layed down on that spot every night and said a prayer for the mother they had declared brain dead.

Then I remembered those tears from my the summer after my freshman year in college. When I got to college I declared that I would be a better daughter to my mother, and I was even counting on the distance to help me. I had kept my promise throughout the year, but decided that I should try the "absence makes your heart grow fonder" theory, even into the summer. I had been sleep, trying to rest before work and my phone kept ringing. I looked to see my home number. I thought, "I'll call my mother back."Twice more I received a phone call and ignored it. Until finally the fourth call, I picked up. It was my mother's caregiver and she was frantic! "I came in to check on Kathy and she was lying on the floor! She wasn't saying anything and her eyes were in the back of her head! I'm so scared Brittany! I'm so scared."My mother had a stroke, brought on by complications of her MS. I panicked. Guilt. I had just talked to my mother the night before and I told her that I would call her back, but I didn't and I feared I would never talk to her again.

I remember calling my daddy's office and crying into the phone for someone to put my dad on the phone. Talking to my dad, he calmed me down and told me that he would go to the hospital. I got off the phone with him, called my job and told them I would not be coming in that day. I got on the first greyhound to Chicago to go see my mother. I remembered those tears from when I saw my mother laying in that hospital room unable to speak. I remembered them a week later, when I was in my mother's hospital room alone with her and I began to speak to her and apologize for everything I had ever done. I remembered telling her how "I didn't know." I remembered crying when I saw the forgiveness in her eyes, because I didn't think I could forgive myself.

But now on this day, April 25, the day after my mother took her last breath all those tears recycled themselves over and over again and I could not stop crying. Nothing could comfort me. Not even my daddy who had joined me on the floor and had wrapped himself over the ball that I had made myself into. That week I was a wreck. Nothing had ever felt like this before. Was I really on my way home to bury my mother? Nine days before I was to walk across the stage on Mother's day, I put my mother's body to rest. The tears had became less frequent, I had stopped sleeping the days away. I was dealing with my mother's death, or so I thought.


  1. What comes from the heart.. touches the heart... Thanks for sharing.. I am truly moved...

  2. This was an humbling post. Thank you for sharing this and I pray you have the comfort of God with everything.

  3. Wow! Reading this brought tears to my eyes, I lost my own Mama in 2004 and know all too well that pain. Grief is a journey and as I just marked 6 years since my Momma passed, I still have the low days but with time peace does come. Thank you for sharing.

  4. @Rae - your candidness has been my inspiration and you set the standard for me in being open and honest, so I thank you.

    @jetara - Humbling indeed, to know there was still so much inside of me even as I wrote and felt tears streaming down was major.

    @Blackgirlinmaine - sorry for your loss, and yes although it never goes away, it does get a little bit easier. It was my pleasure to share, thank you for listening.

    Edited to Add: I didn't know they were gonna show I deleted the post, lol. I had a misspelled word, lol


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