The year 2021 was a year of great loss for me.  There were three events that changed my world. I lost my mother, had major surgery and Covid removed all normalcy from my life.

Let’s start with my mother, Dorothy Ware.  I truly believe I am the person I am today because of her.  She instilled in me the importance of an education, to be honest, to always do your best – “if you truly did your best, that’s all anyone could ask of you”- and many other things.  I loved my mom very much.  We had long talks about everything; she was awesome.  You never really know how much a person is a part of your life until they are gone.  I lost my mother to Covid March 5, 2021.  She was a beautiful spirit.  I had the pleasure of speaking to her the night before she died.  During that conversation she sounded so upbeat, that we really thought she would beat the disease, but that was not to be.  I lost my mom, my guiding light, my go-to person, and I felt the world was getting to be too much for me.

She lived with me for about five years, but at the time of her death she was living in Mississippi with my youngest sister Lahoma.  Later in life, mom became addicted to Bingo.  No matter what I said or did, she would go every day until she had no more money.  It drove me crazy. She told me she was moving back to Mississippi “to die at home,” but I believe Bingo was one of the reasons she moved.  My siblings did not attempt to keep her from what they say, “she loved.” They didn’t see it the way I did.  When Covid started shutting down her beloved Bingo Hall, all she would talk about was going again.  I tried to tell her it wasn’t safe, because she fell into the high-risk category, but she would not take my advice. Then one day, Covid knocked at her door.  She died the same day I was scheduled for a procedure to determine if I would need surgery. The loss and stress were overwhelming.

I’d suffered from pancreatitis for years, but in 2021, my condition led to major surgery. For once, the internet was my friend.  I started with the most reliable source, WIKIPEDIA,  and yes WIKIPEDIA being a reliable source is intended to make you smile.  Truthfully, that is where I started.  That led me to the Mayo Clinic site and a Facebook group.  I had no idea so many people had the same disease.  I’m better now after having surgery in June but dealing with the loss of my mother and not being able to attend her services or help with any of the arrangements because of my health made her loss hurt even more.  I read several articles on the loss of a parent on WebMD and other sites.  I knew the steps, but I think I’m still a little stuck at denial.  I have voicemails from mom saved on my phone and every now and then I listen to them to hear her voice.  I still cry, so I’m not sure where I am in the loss steps, or if crying is my healing.

Let’s finish up with Covid shall we?  I love to travel, spend time with friends, go to the movies and go on road trips.  Covid has taken that from me, and I feel a loss of freedom, of being safe, of knowing what is best to do.  The loss of freedom to come and go without a sense of worry and dread is simply awful!

My mom always said, “Make the most of each day, ‘cause you’re still above ground,” so I resolve to make the most of each day to search for the joy as well as deal with the loss, and remind myself, “this too shall pass.”