{January 23, 2014}   Eight Years is a Long Time

I’ve already posted this on Facebook, so if you’ve read it, I apologize for the repeat.

Eight years ago, I held my Mama’s hand as she drew her last breath. I was blessed to be able to have the ability to say goodbye, because so few aren’t given that luxury. 

Mama and I had a tumultuous relationship. In my childhood years, she was taken from me because of schizophrenia. At the time, we didn’t understand what was wrong with her, and oh, how I resented her. I felt she didn’t love me and for the longest time, I believed she actually HATED me.

I’m so thankful that in my 20’s, we were able to work through our issues. I had the honor of helping take care of her during her last couple of years, and looking back at our relationship and remembering her, I’ve realized some things.

My mother taught me many things. When she was lucid, she was funny as HELL. She was so smart, and to this day, is one of the best storytellers I know. She gave me my love of horror and science fiction. She taught me the Stray Cat Strut. We watched Doctor Who together (Tom Baker is our favorite). I wish she’d have been able to watch when they started the show back…she saw the trailers for it and was so excited, even if the ‘new’ Doctor was going to wear a leather jacket. I think she’d have liked him.

She was one of the most generous people I know, and she didn’t have much to give, but if you needed it, it was yours.

Mama played Dungeons and Dragons with us. She loved when my friends would come over and we would all game together. She even learned to play video games…Katamari Damacy was the only one she could REALLY play after her strokes because of the controls.

My mother taught me to love EVERYONE. She didn’t discriminate if you believed in a different God or if you were a different race or if you weren’t straight. She just plain didn’t care.

Mama wanted to be a published author, which didn’t happen in her lifetime, but a few REALLY cool things did. She won a NATIONAL poetry award and it was presented by Vincent Price. She even got to shake his hand. She fed Harrison Ford once. He kissed her on the cheek, too. I was SO jealous because I was going to marry Han Solo. He did wave at me when I was getting off the school bus, though, so that was pretty cool.

Mama knew how to play The House of The Rising Sun on acoustic guitar. And she LOVED the Bard Song from Blind Guardian. She had the loveliest soft alto voice you’ve heard, and I WISH I had been gifted with that.

She was an artist. She painted and drew some of the most lovely pieces. She even wrote and illustrated a children’s book with me as the star.
I wish I could show her what I am doing. I think she’d love it, especially the horror and nude pieces. I used to HATE doing artsy crafty things, but now…whenever I create something, I think a piece of her is there.

I miss her so damn much. I never realized how much I would until she was gone. I’m grateful that I was able to be there when she left us. It is a gift to be able to say goodbye, a treasure that should not be taken for granted.

RIP Jeanne Rivers. I love you very much, mama. Thank you for teaching me that even when you were at your sickest, you still loved me.


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