10 years later

Ten years ago today, I got the call. The call I’d been dreading. The call from my dad to tell me that my mom was dead. I was in my car, in line to drop my #1 son at school. He was still in the car, but I answered the phone because it was my dad calling. Trying to respond to him while cloaking my words in a way as to not upset my 6-year-old was hard. Living the last 10 years without my mom has been even harder.

I’ve written much about my sweet mama and how much I miss her. I’m not sure that there are new ways to say, I’m sad. I miss her. I feel lost sometimes. I worry that I don’t do enough to keep her memory alive. I can’t believe she’s gone. I don’t want to live the rest of my life without her. I’m afraid I don’t mother my kids as well as she mothered me. I’m totally pissed that she’s gone. I was robbed. She was robbed. It still hurts, a lot. It’s better, but it still hurts.

I miss her. So much.

I’ve been torn today, between wallowing in the sadness and doing the kinds of things she respected. Between feeling sorry for myself and being productive. Between having a shitty day and “walking on the sunny side of the street” (the latter was how she bid me farewell every day when I left for school when I was little). How can I walk on the sunny side of the street when the sunshine is gone?

And yet I will try. I will. Because that’s what she would want. img_1199


17 Comments on “10 years later”

  1. hjelmstd says:

    It’s so sad to not have a mother. But I loved this picture of a beautiful bride and a beautiful mother.

  2. Christy says:

    Beautiful pic!!!

  3. David Benbow says:

    I’m so sorry. I loved your mother so much. I keep her spirit alive in my kitchen. I may have to bake a pie in her honor. I can still hear her voice of disapproval whenever I taste something that contains raw eggs.

    You are a great mother to your kids and it’s a shame they don’t know their yaya. She was one in a million.

  4. Amy H. says:

    I know your mom because of you. She is real and alive to me in spite of the fact I never met her in person. There aren’t many Mamas of friends I know as well–and they are still living here on Earth. I feel I know your mom’s laugh and her love and her passions. I know I would call her YaYa and so would my kids.

    Also, I know those jeans.🙂

    There is no doubt I will recognize her when I see her.

    And I thank her for inspiring you come to New Orleans for Mother’s Day this year with the rest of the sisters so the day wasn’t a day of loss and wallowing for you. In my mind, when I said, “YaYa, you should come with us!! It’ll be fun!” She just did that “ooh” thing acknowledging how uncomfortable she felt at the prospect of Bourbon St. with her daughter(s). I think she thought we might get her in trouble! (Notice I added a daughter or two to her daughter count….)

    You are a fantastic mom and DAUGHTER. You are still her daughter and she is still your mom. It’s ok to miss her and to mourn the loss. You deserve to have her here–to do life together NOW….I am sorry you don’t. Your loss is yours for sure but I feel some semblance of loss not actually knowing YaYa in person. I love her. I love you!

    • Amy!! You know how I feel about shedding tears, yet you made me do it anyway! I love that you feel you know her so well, even though you never met. That makes me happy. Thanks for enveloping me into the Sanders clan.

  5. Eddie says:

    She was with me just yesterday morning when I put a hot pan directly into cool water. I see her at my mom’s house every time I see the brown sugar. I laugh with her when I cross two different state lines driving from Salisbury to Maine. And I cry when I remember we won’t do those things again. It sucks and I am sorry you have to go through it. It’s an ironic and just plain shitty result of having had very good people in one’s life that their absence is proportionately large and painful. Cheers to Barbara, I would be proud to be half as good a person as she was.

    • Oh, Ed she would have fussed at you for putting that hot pan into cool water, for sure! She was very good at fussing. I’m so glad she got to experience Sallaba Beach with us, and that she lives on in the brown sugar container!

  6. carla says:

    Awww hugs and kisses. I so get this post and you are loved and she knows. She watches over you from heaven xoxo

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss of your mom. I bet you are a better mom to your kids because of her.❤
    Diana xo

  8. Amazing pic. So very sorry for your loss.

  9. Oh darlin.. I so get this.. I am not sure there are any new ways to say how much we miss our beautiful, beloved, precious, mothers but that takes nothing away from the way you convey your love and your loss in these words xxxx

  10. […] of love and loss on the Pink Underbelly’s blog as Nancy writes of missing her beloved mother on the death anniversary of her death and Yvonne […]


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