my parents are dead. if you read this regularly, you already know that. today is the day i sat on the polished white linoleum hospital floor next to the bed in which my mother lay dying at 55 years old, twelve years ago. the day i was officially orphaned. my father had died in horrific fashion four months prior. i was eighteen years old.
i don't ever want you to forget that there's a real person buried under all these jokes. and i try to laugh 100% of the time, because trying to be happy is better than thinking about all of the bad things that have happened to you, and all of the ways you've been disappointed, and all of the things you could have been that you won't. why live if you're just going to wallow in it? but it's sad. i mean REALLY SAD. and sometimes i feel like i don't have the right to be this sad, especially as i get older and older and older, like there is an expiration date on grief and i'm long past the point at which i should have thrown it away.
but there is mothers day and fathers day and christmas day and my birthday and their birthdays and all these other days when thinking about them is inevitable. and i don't just miss them as people, i miss them as possibilities. i didn't even really get to know them as people; i was a child when they died. so i'm stuck missing my mommy tucking me in or my daddy peeling grapes for me because i didn't like their skins. or missing what could have been, which is the saddest missing of all.
don't feel bad for me, because i feel bad enough for myself. just go do something nice for your mom. or call her. and think about people who can never call their moms again.
this is my grandmother, my mother, my sisters, my nieces, and our friend jessica. my mom has her eyes closed and is all the way left. this is the last photograph i have of myself with her, and i was maybe ten years old. this was also probably the last time she was ever photographed while she was still able to stand upright of her own volition.
this is also the last time i was in a church without fear of bursting into flame. i am in red, of course, because even then i was HOT.