Time is short.
I’ve spent the last few years watching cancer pick apart one of the most important people in my world, and found myself amazed, again and again, at her willpower. That being said, it’s a battle she’s, unfortunately, losing.
My mother, the woman who gave me life, nurtured my talents and kicked me in the ass so hard I wondered where her foot disappeared to, the woman who challenged me and my assumptions; yet in later years, became my champion, my confident, today, I learned is finally succumbing to her illness.
Time is the enemy.
How do I say goodbye to a woman whom I’ve loved (and at times hated). How do I show her, during this last gasp of her battle, just how much she means to me. How do I take 49 years, and compress them into an instant; one that she can take with her the day she leaves this earth?
I convinced myself some time back that nothing was left unspoken, and that she’d leave this life without regrets. Yet, upon hearing her doctor tell her this morning that she’s about to succumb to this illness that she’s waged war on for so long, I find myself wanting to hold her in my arms, comfort her, let her know she’s far more important to me than I’d ever let on.
I know I’ve had that conversation. I know as well that I’ve shown her how deeply I love her. She has known for a long while now just how blessed I’ve felt about God allowing me to be her first-born.
She’s never pandered to my weaknesses; she’s only shown me a better way, in her own odd fashion. I see her in my sister, Shannon. I feel her within my own sentimental spirit. I’m forever thankful I inherited more of her goodness than my biological father’s ugliness.
Time waits for no one.
I’ve seen this woman at her best, and her worst. I’ve known her struggles, and felt her pain. I’ve also borne witness to her greatest joys.
I’ve always been proud of her instrument; that deep, smokey voice, one that rang out so loudly, she never found herself needing a microphone. It’s a voice I’ll never have, but can hear in my mind during those quieter moments.
As a child, she was a giant. Today, she became the child. Yet inside her, despite her resignation, I still see the woman I’ve come to not only admire, but to set before myself as a ruler to measure myself against.
As I wipe the tears from my keyboard, I also feel a great sense of relief. I am glad the end is coming, before she loses anything more.
“If God leads you to it, he’ll see you through it”. Truer words were never written.
Time heals all wounds.
In this life, I’ve had some hellish moments; however, I always got through them knowing just how arduous her own life was during her youth. She never had anything handed to her. Everything she achieved, she did so the hard way. Like mother, like son.
I can only feel her goodness within me today, and perhaps that’s the reason I’m feeling so deeply emotional about the end; for I don’t feel ready to let go of the best parts of her.
I look at my two nephews, Edan and Benjamin, and see a lot of my mother’s spirit within the two of them. They’re both giving and very loving. I hear her laughter in my sister’s voice. I see her royal blue eyes every time I look into Ben’s own intelligent pair of orbs.
She is soon to bid adieu, but she’s also left a legacy, one I think I’m beginning to understand, and more importantly; appreciate.
I don’t know how much longer she has, but it’s not long. she’s become a prisoner of her failing body, and that, more than anything, is the most painful part of watching her fade. In saying this, I know death will be a welcome relief.
Alice Jeanette Silliker, you will leave this earth richer for having being a part of it. Your weakened body will no longer steal your memories, or your light. You’ll be with your siblings, parents, and will once again be that voice so many have loved to hear.
The best of you is in your children, and your grandchildren. Your lessons were not in vain.
God will be with you, and with us, during this final phase of your illness. Let his hand carry you this through one last trial. Your reward awaits you on the other side.
I love you.