From Jim Gilliam's blog archives

May 12, 2002 10:15 AM

Today is mother's day. This is the only holiday that's difficult for me. My mom is dead.

She died when I was 18. So this holiday is difficult, not in that I never knew her, or can only reconstruct a memory of her from old pictures. I'm sure many people struggle with that kind of thing today. No, this is tough for me because I remember vividly so many things. I remember the things she hated: cooking, being lied to, and Hillary Clinton. I remember the things she loved: sewing, houses, and my Dad.

I remember how we were both sick with different cancers and didn't know it, which kept us awake all night. I couldn't lie down to sleep without suffocating, and my mom's adrenaline was in overdrive so she made clothes for everyone throughout the night. I have one shirt that she never finished. There aren't any buttons on it.

But the most vivid memory was the last conversation we ever had. It was the middle of the night. Everyone was asleep except for the two of us. She was on so much pain medication and the cancer was ravaging her mind so terribly that she was becoming delusional. And this is what she said to me:

"We're going to beat this! Grandma and Grandpa don't want us to, but we're going to beat it, Jimmy! No one else can help us. Just you and me."

"Yes, mom, we're gonna beat it." My mom didn't have any chance of surviving, but at that point, it looked like my chances were pretty good. My last words to her that I knew she understood, were a lie. To the woman who hated being lied to.

I went upstairs and sobbed the rest of the night.

More from the archive in Health, Me.

Mom (05.12.2002)

Next Entry: Sopranos Gossip (05.14.2002)
Previous Entry: New Kind of Science (05.12.2002)

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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