Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14th

It was flash flooding on April 14th last year, just like it is today. I remember because it's the day my mother died.

She loved stormy weather so much, she often fussed about sunny days. She could not only tell you about every hurricane she ever went through in detail, but every American hurricane in modern history as well as record breaking tornadoes across the U.S. She owned countless weather videos and recorded footage from local and national weather stations on her VCR for over 20 years. I told her she missed her calling as a storm chaser. We used to discuss our tornado dreams...we both had them frequently...it was an odd bond we shared. I haven't had one since she died.

Phone calls were like a box of chocolates (never knew what I was going to get), but there was no doubt that we could always talk like old pals about the weather. I'm sure thunderstorms will remind me of her for the rest of my life. She not only loved them, she was the very personification of them. And I know she would agree with that.

She died too young. In spite of her rocky health, I truly believed she would live at least another 20 years. I worried about how she would cope if Freddy passed away first. He took care of her at home till the day she died, almost losing his job of 41 years in the process. He doesn't regret one minute. He was meant to outlive her so she could die on her terms with him by her side. She wouldn't have had it any other way, I can tell you that. Nobody told Lynn Prosser what to do. Not even death.

As much as I hate that she's gone, I'm relieved that she didn't have to bury a child. Losing an estranged stepson was devastating enough, and she grieved over Max (who died 19 years ago this June) and he wasn't even her kid.

There were a lot of incredibly turbulent moments with her that I would never choose to relive, but we had some good times too, and that is what I want to hold onto. My ridiculous dancing, bad karaoke, animated reactions, fake threats of punches in the face, and goofy voice impressions came straight from her. I've held several careers in my life, including paralegal, medical administration, nanny, and teacher, but my pursuit of painting happy trees is what made her most proud. I always thought that was funny, but I was very grateful for her support and I did the best I could. Even on days when I struggle greatly with what our relationship was verses what it should have been, I miss her and seek her approval. That will probably never go away. Nor should it, I guess.

I worry about Freddy. He feels lost without her, but he refuses to accept any credit for how loyal and strong he is. One of the first things he said to me was that he hoped I would stay in his life. I don't know why the hell he thought I wouldn't be his daughter anymore, but I put him in his place quickly. The man raised me. He's my dad, forever, and that's that. He's stuck with me till one of us croaks. I hope and pray that day is decades away. My heart is heavy for him and I pray he finds grace and peace on this day, and every day.

Thanks for sharing your beloved rain, Mom. Try not to flood my apartment, okay? :)