I’ve been slightly emotional lately. Not bad emotional, just a little bit nostalgic. I’ve gotten some really amazing, kind words written and spoken to me on this weight loss journey, and I am so grateful about the support I’ve been shown by near-strangers.
Sometimes I get the urge to share my excitement or gratitude for this experience with someone who is no longer here – my mom, who died at the age of 50 of complications from young-onset Parkinson’s Disease.
I don’t really think I talk extremely explicitly about her passing and the progression of her disease on this blog (but you can read it here), so I will tell you something that I’m ashamed to admit:
I can’t remember her voice.
With Parkinson’s Disease, you lose motor function and have tremors, but also develop slurred speech. In the last few years of her life, I could barely understand what she was saying. I’ve been grappling with this issue ever since she passed. Friends of mine can remember her voice because they weren’t around her when her southern drawl was taken over by a lazy tongue and frustration in her eyes over the lack of communication.
Over the weekend, I was trying to clean out my email. I am an email junkie, and have a hard time getting rid of conversations, as noted in my post about how I met my husband. While looking through my Yahoo! Mail account, which I’ve had for over 13 years, I came across something that I forgot existed:
An email from my mom.
Sitting in a mail folder titled “Mom” lie dozens of emails between me and various nursing homes, attorneys, Medicaid people, etc. — all the reminders of how much I had to handle with her illness. Down at the very bottom of the pile, however, were 3 emails from my mom. They were written at a time where she could barely move her hands so I know typing them was tedious. She was being cared for by relatives in Georgia at the time, and since it was difficult to understand her, I liked to email her. In-between mistake-riddled punctuation and short sentences was proof of something that I needed:
A physical reminder of her love, and more importantly, her acknowledgement that she knew I loved her too.
So in these few emails I have from her, I have found her voice again. No, I can’t hear it in my head, but I will have these emails FOREVER and no one can take them away from me. In times of doubt about my weight loss progress, life direction, or that my memories of her will continue to fade, I have proof: a tangible reminder that she was my biggest cheerleader and someone I know would be rooting me on in this journey.
My obsession with email continues.
This video below is so cute. Replace “DAD” with “MOM” and that’s what reminds me of her. Don’t get me wrong, my dad is great too, but my mom was the one playing games and frolicking with me as I navigated my childhood. And if she were still alive, she would totally love texting, I just know it 🙂