May 5th, 2011.
The day my mother passed away.
For those of you who actively read my blog, you know this subject is not new. I blog about my mom all the time.
I feel like since I’ve been blogging (which has been a little over a year now) I’ve become so much like my mother, it’s almost eerie. I am truly my mother’s daughter.
A free spirit.
A crazy, passionate girl.
I can distinctively remember the day I found out that my mother had cancer.
It was 1999.
I was 10, almost 11.
I can also vividly remember the day my mom told us her cancer was back.
It was 2007.
I was 19, fresh out of my Freshman year at UC.
I remember the day I woke up with a bad dream about my dad dying in the spring of 2011. I called Ro in a panic, asking her if everyone in the family was okay. She told me my dad was actually going to unexpectedly be in New England the next day.
The next day my dad came to town and told me I was coming home to spend my final days with my mother.
I was 23.
I remember when my mom sat me down and told me that she had two to four weeks left to live according to her oncologist.
I remember moving her into the hospice bed.
I remember my last words to her.
I remember my first day being alive and alone in this world without my mother.
Now I’m 25.
I’m still a baby. I have a long life to live. The day she died, I felt like my world stopped. I felt like I had no idea how to be in a world where my mom was not.
I literally felt like I had no idea how to keep “living.”
Does that make sense?
My mother was sick for more than half my life.
But to me, she was never dying… because she was always full of so much life and love.
And I think that’s why I am the way I am… because I am my mother’s daughter… through and through.
This past week has been tough, for many reasons. My character has been called into question, and I’ve been feeling pretty insecure as of late.
But this week also opened my eyes to a truth that I sometimes forget.
Like The Beatles say, “All you Need is Love.”
I can say this until I’m BLUE in the face, but I believe there is nothing more true and real and profound and transcendent than being in LOVE. And no, I’m not just talking about romantic love, but just being in love with people and life and living.
Just giving and receiving love.
Over the years (and as of late) I’ve been labeled as “crazy,” “intense,” “overwhelming,” “over-the-top,” “aggressive,” “exhausting,” and so on and so forth.
Well for all of you to believe these words to be descriptive of me, you’re right.
I AM all of these things.
But you know what… I’m only these things because I see what you might not see. I spent HALF my life living as the daughter of a mother with cancer. We didn’t take any moments for granted in my family.
Sure… my mom and I used to get into SCREAMING matches with each other.
But it was only because we cared so passionately and profoundly about each other.
We also loved each other like no other mother and daughter. I don’t think there is a single day that goes by, that I don’t wish I could talk to Ro about something. She knew me better than anyone else.
So go ahead…
Call me crazy.
Call me intense.
Call me over-the-top.
Keep telling me how I’m “too much.”
Because I see what you don’t see.
Because I love like you don’t love.
I care so deeply about the people in my life, that I physically hurt when they hurt.
I cry when they cry.
I bleed when they bleed.
My mother has been gone for two years and one day.
And I’m proud to say that the characteristic I’m most proud of that I get from her is my ability to love.
Like a crazy person.
Thanks for that Ro.
And I know if you were here… you would never let me forget to be who I am, every single day.
Shannon ROSE Allen.