I had to make this a whole new category because I figure I’ll be writing in it often for some time. My mom died in a pretty nasty car accident on Thursday. I was at the mall to pick up something I ordered when my dad called. I couldn’t hear him. All I heard was “bad news” and “mom” and “accident” and I thought, oh shit, she got into another car accident, or did he mean some weird accident at home? And I ran outside to call him right back where I could hear him and he asked if I was sitting down so I did, and he told me my mom was driving home from her mom’s house and got into an accident and rolled the car into oncoming traffic and had died. I asked about other cars, I asked if he saw her in the hospital. No, and no. She didn’t even make it to the hospital. I was already bawling, but somehow these things made it seem even worse. And I haven’t really stopped crying since. All I keep thinking is, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Sorry that I hadn’t spoken to her since Christmas. Sorry that I never called again when I left my Happy New Year’s message and told her I’d call back since I hadn’t gotten a hold of her. Sorry that I hadn’t called her the day before on my sister’s birthday, though that’s something I would never do anyway. Sorry for millions of little things — sorry for all the hurt and sadness and loneliness she’s felt over the last two and half years, sorry I didn’t call enough, sorry I left her out of my life. I loved her as unconditionally as she loved me, but while I knew she loved me so much, I wonder if she ever knew how much I loved her and how much she meant to me.

She wasn’t perfect, she could drive me crazy. But this last Christmas, I felt like she’d softened and she’d been starting to look and sound happier in the last few months than she had since my father left, and I had a really good time with her. And left wishing I’d gotten to spend more time with her. I drove around the car she died in when I was home, and remember thinking, this car’s a junker, my mom shouldn’t be driving it. She deserves a new car. And then I went home and forgot about it. I was always afraid she’d die in a car accident. Always thought she was a slightly careless driver. But drifting off the shoulder doesn’t seem like it should be the death of you. And part of me still blames that car, and I wish I’d just bought her a new one like I’d been thinking of doing. I could get caught up in regrets for the rest of my life, but then how would I continue living?

I so badly wanted to see her, but the coroner’s office won’t let you come view the body. And now I won’t see her until Monday at the earliest. I need to see her. I want to touch her, to kiss her one last time. Everything I do, everyone I see here, reminds me of her. Of how I’ll never again share a meal with her, or enjoy something she cooked especially for me. How we’ll never go shopping together again, how I’ll never get to run another errand for her, or sit at the table and have tea, or watch another movie with her, or learn her recipes. The thing that kills me is that I never really got to know her. Neither one of us spoke a common language fluently enough to really share with each other. And I’ll never hear her stories in her words. Never really know what she thought or felt, or what she was really capable of. Or even what she was really interested in. I haven’t had the time or the energy to really start going through her things yet, but I’ve been sleeping in her bed, on her side, because I can’t sleep anywhere else and the things I see around me break my heart, I can’t even tell you how or why, but it hurts me so much, I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to get through it. Who can live like this?

Umma. My mommy. Mom, mother. I’ve lost the one person in the entire world who thinks that I am one of the three most important people in the world (my sister and father being the other two). And there will never be another person in my life who feels the same way about me. And I blew it with her. I keep thinking to myself that everything is just too little, too late. Life with my mother had its hard times, but I would go back to the most difficult of them and relive all the hurt and anger and sadness of that time if that meant I could be with her again. Nothing is too little, just don’t let it be too late.

News articles:

None of the news stories are quite entirely correct. I don’t think she was ejected from the vehicle. She was travelling on the southbound 261 when she drifted into the shoulder, tried to correct, but over-corrected and went across the freeway and into the center divider, flipped the car over all the lanes of opposing traffic to land on the right shoulder of the northbound 261. She died of blunt force trauma (from hitting the A frame) and pretty much died immediately. I’ve been obsessing over lots of details, and one of them is the terror and fear she must have felt as the car went out of control and until she became unconscious. I would do anything in the world to be able to take that moment of fear from her.


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