While catching up with an old friend Thursday night, he told me that his mom died last August. It was like everything ground to a halt for a second. His mother – Carol – was my OG Work Mom. She was there for me when I had an abortion. She was one of the early supporters of my SCANDALOUS relationship with Henry. She has a baby shower for me when my mom and I weren’t on speaking terms.
The four years I spent sharing an office with her in Weissylvania bonded me to her for life. We both endured our own set of traumas there and for me, I was so young still that it sadly defined who I was for YEARS. What am I talking about – I’m still not over that shit. It came up a few weeks ago when Henry and I were in the car and here I thought, dummy that I am, that I could speak candidly about the experience because I AM SO HEALED NOW, NEW WOMAN, but then I found myself so choked up that I physically could not continue speaking and then had a panic headache for the rest of the day.
If Carol hadn’t been there during that time, if I had been alone…I don’t want to think about how much worse it could have been. Anytime we found ourselves in a catch-up sesh, our time there was always the main topic but it was always ok to talk about it with her – Catharsis, The Way It Oughta Be.
We spoke on the phone during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and lamented that we couldn’t meet up for lunch. I talked to her on the phone again during the summer of 2021, hoping we could finally schedule that lunch now that we were both vaccinated, but she told me she wasn’t doing well, cancer.
And then there were a million times after that when I thought, “I should call Carol, I should send Carol a card, I should see if Carol is up for a house call.
But I never did it. And now she is gone. I for real loved her like a mom. I never got to tell her that.
I hope she knew it.
So that’s what I have chewing on the last few days. Lots of regret, panic, grief, nostalgia. What a healthy cocktail, straight to the dome.
Take care of yourself. Etc etc. :/