Silver Lining: At 2:17am

November 21, 2011

At 2:17am

Tomorrow I leave for Arizona, my very first in-law holiday, and it will be great.

It really will, mom. I'm excited.

But there will not be time to remember. There will not be time to think about two Thanksgivings ago, that last time you really were able to get out of bed and into your wheelchair, when we took those family pictures.

You started crying, mom, when you took a picture with me. Because you were going to miss me. And that's why I love that picture so much. I hate the cancer in your eyes, but I love that picture.

So I'm taking this moment now, mom, this crying moment at 2:28am to think about midnight watches. To think about those times we would sit in the rocker, look at the Christmas lights through the window, and make sure you were sleeping okay.

We were blessed with 19 whole years of shared existence on this earth.
19 whole years, mom.

That's almost 7,000 days.
That's 9 million minutes.
That's 600 million seconds.

That's a long time, mom, and I never appreciated those seconds more than during those midnight watches, in the blue rocking chair, with the Christmas lights soft through the window.

Every breath, every snore was one more second granted to our shared existence.

Do you remember how you asked us to put up those lights outside of the window, to give you a little cheer? I liked those lights.

And do you remember all those cards? We strung them up in rows in your room. We never got around to reading those to you, but that's not the point.

Remember how you would laugh because red dye supposedly causes cancer, and since it was far too late to worry about that, would somebody please pass the hot tamales? That was funny. 

Since I won't have time on Thanksgiving, I'm taking this moment at 2:40am to cry. I'm taking this moment to think about you, and write about you, and erase it all, and not worry about My Public Blogging Image, and to thank you, mom, for those 19 years of shared existence.

Kiss my future children for me. Kiss those chicklets right on the face. Maybe then they'll be able to remember their grandma when it's their turn to come to Earth. I hope they'll remember who you are. 

I remember.

Happy Thanksgiving, mommy. I love you.


  1. You don't know me, but I'm best friends with your cousin Michelle. (She's amazing!) And my parents were in your parents' ward in Oregon and always spoke highly of your family.

    I've been following your blog for a little while and love the way you write. This post really touched me and I can't imagine going through what you have. Thanks for being willing to share your experiences through your blog. :)

  2. Hey Brooke - I'm a new follower and one of those "randoms" who you don't know. But I wanted to say thank you for this. My mom died unexpectedly today, three years ago. This post brought tears to my eyes in the most beautiful way. It is nice to know they will always be with us and that even though we spend Thanksgiving with in-laws, mother is always there, always remembered.


  3. It's healthy to grieve and to need to do that. I do that every holiday too for my grandpa and that pang goes away little by little every year.

    (I'm going to be in Mesa.)

  4. Have a great time in Arizona. We will miss you a ton here. Drive safely and listen to awesome music. And bring me back some prickly pears.

    I'll comment about the other part, you know, when I can see better.

  5. hi! i saw your blog over on emma frances. would you wanna button swap?

  6. Very poignant and beautiful words, Brooke. Painful, painful memories. But oddly sweet too. I knew your mom for 45 1/2 years. What a remarkable and wonderful person. Her sweet spirit lives on in you and your siblings. You are the ultimate tribute to her. You are her legacy. And a very fine legacy at that.

  7. Hey, so I don't even know you, and haven't been to your blog until now, but this post made me cry. I've been feeling down lately because my step-father, to whom I was extremely close with, died 7 months ago from a horrible disease ALS. The holidays can be hard because we see they aren't here with us to share it; but they'll always be with us.

    Your blog is amazing, and you definitely have a way with words hun. xo.

  8. This made me cry. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with your in-laws. :)

  9. This is such an incredibly sweet post. Your writing is beautiful! I hope your Thanksgiving with your in-laws is absolutely wonderful!

  10. I just got the chills reading this. I know your mother is with you always. Your words strengthen others, even when you think they're just for you.

  11. Hey Brooke,

    Nobody will ever know exactly what you're feeling, but I know where you're coming from. Very few people know that exactly 12 hours after my dad died, my niece was born. At 1:20 in the afternoon we sing and eat cake and put on brave faces, but that's only because at 1:20 that morning we all took a minute to ourselves to remember. The only way to get through the day is to give yourself a minute to cry, and look at the pictures, and remember.

    A birthday isn't the same as Thanksgiving, but I get where you're coming from. You deserve to grieve in the wee hours, because it's what keeps you strong the rest of the day.

  12. I seriously just cried (I'm not kidding), this was the sweetest, saddest thing ever. You're such a great person Brooke! Have fun with the in-laws:)

  13. Dear Brooke, I just love you! I'm glad I got to read this post and remember and cry... I think of you and your family and your mom often. Sweet memories. Have a wonderful holiday :)

  14. Brooke, I love you! This was so good. I can promise that your future children will remember their grandma. And they'll ask you about her all the time. My grandmother died before my parents had even met, but she is the one member of my family whom I always feel close to. They'll know her. And you knew her. And you'll have the memories to share with them :]

  15. This is beautiful Brooke. You are amazing! I truly am grateful to have come across your blog and learn so much about you. You are a beautiful person and I know your mother is with you every step of the way!


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