When I was 10 years old, tragedy struck my family. In the middle of the night I was woken by my dad and told we needed to take mom to the hospital. I can remember that night like it was yesterday. My dad drove a ford Taurus wagon..you know the kind that had the seats in the back where you could ride looking backwards. I sat behind my dad, my sister in the middle and my older brother sat behind my mom. I remember my dad speeding which is something he never did. At one point, my mom blacked out and started throwing up. I remember clearly my dad yelling at my brother to hold her head up so she didn’t choke. My sister and I sat holding each other screaming and crying. At one point we reached train tracks and as the arms came down to tell us to stop, my dad stepped on the gas and drove right under them. I think he knew we didn’t have time to be stopped by a train. I remember reaching the hospital and my dad and brother carrying my mom, one under each arm, into the emergency room. She had lost her shoe…I remember that brown strappy shoe, and I picked it up because I thought she would need it. All I remember after this is finding out that my mom had a brain tumor and that the doctors would operate the next day. We skipped school and stayed at the hospital only to find out that the doctors were unsuccessful at removing the tumor and now my mother had fallen into a coma. This was May 1992.
At some point my mother was moved to a nursing home, still in her coma. In June my dad brought us for a visit. I will never forget the way my mother looked. Her head was still shaved, her face half bruised…and she was still in a coma. I read to her the cards we had made telling her we loved her and to get better soon. I remember her eyes flickered and my dad told me she knew we were there. Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever see her. Our family therapist told my dad that it would be best to keep us kids away. He thought it was too traumatic for us kids to see her like that.
Then one day in October, my brother was up early watching cartoons before school when the call came. I heard him wake my dad and tell him the nursing home was on the phone. I knew at that moment what the call was about. It wasn’t until that afternoon after school when my dad sat my sister and I down and told us the news. My mom would not be coming home.
There was no funeral, no goodbye, no nothing. Life went on..4 months later my dad married a woman he barely knew. It wasn’t until I was pregnant and becoming a mother myself 13 years later when grief set in. I started to realize how much I had missed out on. How much I would continue to miss out on. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I know this is the root of my emotional eating. I know I keep trying to fill a void that just can not be filled. But spilling my guts to you all is the first step. I have so much more to tell. So many of you tell me how strong and confident and inspiring I am on a daily basis…now I am going to share with you how I became this person. This is just the beginning to Finding Me.