Thursday, 6 March 2014

When I was 17...

When I was seventeen I had a step mom. There was nothing in the world I couldn't tell her. She took me in and treated me equally as one of her own and equally as the adult I so desperately wanted to be.

She taught me that being an adult didn't mean you couldn't still have fun.
She taught me what it meant to be a free spirit.
She taught me what it meant to work hard for what you wanted.
She taught me to make the perfect fried egg.
She taught me how to pinch pennies.
She taught me what it meant to be dependable.
She taught me that just because you were mad at someone you didn't stop loving them.

She taught me all of this and so much more.

Of all the things I remember, I remember most how infectious her laugh was. But I also remember...

Listening to her sing "Bobby McGee" at the VFW and being a little jealous that I couldn't pull off a Janis Joplin cover the way she did.
Sitting up late while my dad was in Saudi with the bag of Oreos we hid from the kids and a full gallon of milk. We'd read his letters and gorge ourselves on cookies and milk.
Staying close after her and my dad split and he was seeing someone else.
We'd go to the bar on the weekends and get smashed, go back to my house, and piss off dad's new girlfriend (who I couldn't stand) by making the noisiest breakfast two drunk women could make.
Shopping at flea markets and yard sales and marveling at how she could find the most awesome things and make them into something new and beautiful. If you ever wondered who first thought of repurposing someone else's old junk...I'm pretty sure it was her.

I've known she was sick for quite some time. She sent me an email and told me. F-ing cancer.

 I've been internally kicking myself for months because I wanted to see her and knew there was no way right now. Fibromyalgia and diabetes wouldn't allow it. I've been kicking myself for months because I didn't just ask for her number to talk to her on the phone. But I'd let her know in other ways I still loved her. But now, in retrospect, a damn Facebook message seems so inadequate.

And now I'm filled with regrets, and I'm beating myself up, and I'm dying to kick and scream and throw things.

Because I just found out she's gone.  She lost her battle with F-ing cancer and I won't get to hear her laugh one more time because I didn't ask for her number so I could call her. And I don't even know why I didn't ask.

And I don't want to write about this anymore. And I don't want to talk about it. I know which thoughts are rational and I know which ones aren't.  I just needed to regurgitate what was going through my mind.

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