It’s been 20 years since my mother died. While my siblings and I were not perfect, we were not bad kids. My mother did not die because we didn’t do the dishes or forgot to take out the trash. I cooked and cleaned and was an “A” student. At 14 years old, with my sister away at college I was the only healthy person in the house.
My mother died from an opportunistic infection allowed to infect her brain by a virus she caught from someone. It might have been my dad or it could have been someone else. Only God knows! I do know that I did not kill my mother! I loved her, I admired her, I feared her (rightfully so) and I miss her dearly. Just to set the record straight, I DID NOT KILL MY MOTHER!!!
That is a line that has resounded in my ears for two decades. It seems that we were such bad kids that we gave my mother brain cancer. For those of you who set outside of our lives and judged us, you did not live there. You have no clue what went on in that house. Did you come take out the trash? Did you come cook a meal? No! What you did was gossip, speculate and judge. In case you were wondering, none of that helped us.
My mother died! I was 14 and my mother died! Do I need to write it in Spanish? Mi madre murio. I watched her lose her hair and her coordination. There were days when she couldn’t walk because her legs wouldn’t support her. I was 14! I was scared and confused. People talked all around me but rarely to me.
Your grief and guilt do not give you a pass to spew such an accusation at me. There are things that should never come out of anyone’s mouth and “You killed your mother” is one of them.
My 34-year-old self would like to tell my 14-year-old self to call the evil-doer on their aspersions but it would change nothing. Those words could never be unsaid. I cannot unhear them. I doubt I will ever forget them. I could have said some choice words to the offender but that wouldn’t change anything either. It would just make me mean and vulgar and my mother did not raise me that way. So, I said nothing and I did nothing but those words have been swimming around in my head for two decades. They make me want to scream!
Today, I sit my 14-year-old self down and I tell her “Sweetie you did not kill your mother and the person that said that was dead wrong no matter what their excuse was. You were not a perfect child but you were a good girl. When you needed to be hugged and comforted that person decided to spit venom at you and that is not your fault. You did not deserve to be treated that way and someone should have spoken up on your behalf. I am here to tell you that you are lovely and your mother is proud of you. Let go of the hurt, confusion and pain that venomous statement left you with. It is over and done with and you are stronger than that person and that statement”.
20 years ago on June 10, 1996, Barbara Ann Logan-Brown left his world. I didn’t cry that day or the day after. It took two years for my heart to let my mind know the pain it felt (It happened in school). It scared the crap out of my best friend. I’ve cried a lot since then. Today, I accept the pain with the understanding that she was the best mother she could be and I was the best daughter I could be. No one gets to critique our relationship. That is between me, her and God!