I’ve been listening to the new Gary Allan CD a lot. It is, without a doubt, the best CD he’s ever done–in my NSH opnion. I guess you’re wondering what my mom has to do with Gary Allan but bear with me. For anyone who doesn’t know, Gary lost his wife to suicide about a year ago and it’s obvious in every song on this CD that the last year hasn’t been easy. There’s a raw, heartfelt honesty that I can appreciate as a writer, and as a person. And while Gary’s unapologetically honest, he doesn’t wallow in self-pitty.
Losing a loved one tragically is difficult, whether they chose to take their own life or it’s a car wreck like the one that took my mom. The last time I saw her was my youngest son’s 6th birthday which we celebrated January 13. The last time I talked to her was Monday, January 15, 2001. We had a fight. On Saturday January 20 (the day after my dad’s birthday) they were sideswiped while taking soup to a friend who’d been in a car accident. And while I do miss her, anyone who knows me at all knows denial ain’t so bad.
When you know that someone’s going to die, you have time to prepare yourself and make peace and if you’re lucky you get to say goodbye. I didn’t. And like I said, the last time we talked we had a fight and I never called her back. My brother lives with his own guilt. He was supposed to have gone to Mom and Dad’s that day but didn’t because he had a fight with his wife, which is how they ended up going to their friends and ended up being at that particular spot, at that exact time.
Mom would have been 64 today. Mom also had Alzheimers. And I gladly accept the fact that, while it was hard to lose her, God knew what he was doing when he took her. She was the strongest person I know. God we were so different and we used to fight like you wouldn’t believe, but she was also my friend, and I know that she wouldn’t have wanted to die the slow agonizing death she would have with Alzheimers.
Happy Birthday, Mom.
I posted this over at Writeminded earlier this week, but I’m gonna post it here too. The lyrics from a Gary Allen song:
Life ain’t alwasy beautiful. Tears will fall sometimes. Life ain’t alwasy beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.