08/08/08

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Flashback to 08/08/08.

I’m mid-move from Vancouver to Toronto, spending some time at my then-boyfriend’s parents place in Winnipeg before we headed to Ottawa to visit my family.

Life is a bit of a mess – everything I own is in boxes being shipped to Toronto. I’m (once again) leaving the place I’ve lived for the past few years and going to start a while new life in a whole new city. I’m scheduled to start a Masters in Counselling program a few weeks from now (the whole reason for the move).

Except that a few weeks ago, I decided I didn’t want to do the program anymore and another passion pulled me in a totally different direction. So a last minute change of school plans had me flustered to get into a Holistic Nutrition Program (also in Toronto).

Things are a little chaotic, and are about to get more chaotic when I get to Toronto and have to crash on a friend’s couch until I find a place to live, a job, and get myself ready to be a student again (after at least 5 years of not being one).

So I’m in Winnipeg, getting ready for a night out with friends, planning my last few days of fun before real life sets in. I try to keep in touch with family, letting them know my plans and when I’ll be home to see them. I call my mom, but there’s no answer. I try my brother, and no answer.

Meh – I’ll try again tomorrow.

We leave to walk to the bar, laughing with friends, talking about the big move and about how looking forward we are to what life in Toronto is going to offer. It was an average night out on all accounts – silly drunkeness, funny stories, one too many shooters and a feeling of carefreeness as we let the stresses of the rest of our lives go for just a few hours.

 

It was an average night.

 

Except that across the country, in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, my mom is dying.

 

It was an average night.

 

Except that after over 25 years of struggling with anorexia and emotional disorders, my mom’s heart, wonky from all the prescription meds, cigarettes, and lack of nutrition, started beating erratically, and eventually stopped.

 

It was an average night.

 

Except that my mom, a mere 50 years old, is falling down on the bathroom floor in her friend’s house while watching the Beijing Summer Olympics  opening ceremony.

 

It was an average night.

 

Except that that night, on 08/08/08, I wish I had called earlier. I wish I had called more often. I wish I has known what to do to help her. I wish I had been anywhere else but drinking in a bar.

 

It was an average night.

 

Except that it changed the course of the rest of my life.

 

It changed the way I saw my past. 

It changed the way I lived my present.

It changed the way I wanted my future.

 

It was an average night for most people.

 

Except for me. And my poor momma.

 

08/08/08.

 

They say 08/08/08 is a lucky number. And I actually kind of believe them.

Was a sudden death a blessing for a woman who was slowly deteriorating, killing herself with every bite of food that she pushed to the side of her plate and eventually threw in the garbage?

Was a sudden death a secret gift for a woman who probably wanted to die when she was a teenager, after her older brother molested her and her family blamed her for it?

Was a sudden death a sigh of relief for a daughter who wasn’t ever quite sure there was anything she could do to help her mother?

 

This August 8 will mark  4 years since my mom’s body finally gave out on her.

And it will mark 4 years since I decided it was time to take control of my life. Time to stop blaming my circumstances, and my shitty childhood, and my sick mother, for all the reasons why I felt like a bit of a  screw up.

 

08/08/08

 

My mom lost her life, and I reclaimed mine.

 

xx becca

Read 23 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. Cristen

    Wow, this post just hit me hard. Now I’m wondering if I’m meant to take this e-course. The reason I feel that is because Fear is controlling me way too much. Another reason I’m starting to wonder if it is meant to be is because I too lost my Mom four years ago. She passed 01/29/2008. Definitely going to be keeping my eye out for the pre-sale & hoping I can afford to splurge on it at this crappy financial time.

  2. Cristen – so much love to you girl! It all starts with these little inklings that we need to make some changes… and it snowballs from there! Looking forward to helping you get to where you deserve to be!

  3. Thanks, love to you too! I wish I could say this inkling is little, but it’s not. I know I need to make the changes, then I start on the right path & can’t follow through until the end. I get too overwhelmed. I’m just hoping that when the pre-sale comes things will work in favor!

  4. Girl – change that attitude right now! Overwhelm is a feeling you’re choosing to have. What’s the thought that’s behind the overwhelm….? Figure that out, then change that thought. If you start to think it’s hard, decide to make it easy. If it feels scary, decide to make it fun. And STAY CONNECTED to why you’re doing it in the first place. xo

  5. I have this really nasty habit of making things harder than they really need to be. My frame of thinking is that it’ll keep me safe when in actuality it’s hurting me. I have this wiring that thinks that if I just don’t do it, it’ll make things easier as well. Not true! It’s the exact opposite.

  6. Rebecca – so heartfelt, and EXACTLY what you needed to share – not only for yourself, but also for us so we can really know YOU, and totally TRUST you. Thank you for reclaiming your life so that you could help others do the same, love Catherine

  7. Thanks so much Catherine. That means a lot to me! It’s true – sharing personal stories is such an awesome way for people to get to know what you’re really all about – and because it feels vulnerable and scary, we often kind of forget to do it :)

    And because my story is so close to me, I forget that not everyone knows it! It’s part of the reason I started Uncaged – the life I was blessed with has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and it’s made me realize that no matter your circumstances, you CAN choose how you want to move forward.

    Our circumstances don’t dictate how we choose to live.

    I love hearing other people’s stories too – if anyone reading this has a blog and has posted a story of your own, feel free to link to it here!

  8. Beautiful heartfelt post Becca, and I’m thrilled about your new program & how it’s going to change lives!

  9. Tabitha

    Becca, what a powerful post! I love reading about people who have used the death of a loved one to take back control of their life – that’s what I did after my brother died 10 years ago. For me there is no better way to honor and respect those we love who have died than by living our lives in a big and bold way.

  10. Dayna

    Thank you for sharing this deeply personal story. You are doing great things by inspiring others to take action. I can’t wait to hear more about your program and what you do. Much love.

  11. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure your mom would be very proud and happy with the way you have dealt with things. The date doesn’t seem very random anymore.

  12. Rebecca

    Thanks Sabrina!

  13. Rebecca

    Amen girl. Thanks for sharing xo

  14. Rebecca

    Thanks Dayna!

  15. Rebecca

    Aw, Thanks Cathy. My mom was always proud of me, even though we didn’t ever really get very close. Thanks so much for the comment!

  16. Linda

    Thank you! Thank you for your honesty and openness. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life.

    I am so glad you decided to turn this around. I’m sorry for your loss but happy you reclaimed your life! *hugs*

  17. Robin

    Hi Becca! Ok super cool, found your site on 8/8 and was actually reading this post at 8:08 :-)
    Lost my momma too, in a very similar way. Talk about a life jolting experience. That marked the beginning of my healing journey. Love what you’re about here, Becca. Hugs to you :-)

  18. Rebecca

    Thank YOU Linda!

  19. Rebecca

    whoaaaa, 08/08/08. Lucky number, I tell you!

    LOVE your site Robin! Funky colors gorgeous photo – nice work! thanks for stopping by and saying hi xo

  20. Erin Belzile

    Beautiful tribute to your mom Becca. Thought of you today and how well you’re doing. A free spirit who makes things happen and doesn’t wait idly by waiting for something to happen. Your mom would be so proud of you, as are we. Love you XO You are an inspiration. Aunt Erin and Uncle Jean Guy

  21. I know everyone’s stories are different but this post reminded me of Ashley Ambirge’s Middle Finger Project’s post of how she struggled with the loss f her mother as well.  But it reminds me so much because you two are both empowering, as in turning such a tragic event and re-directing the energy to such a positive flow, that in return has become such a big motivation.  Appreciate you sharing such a personal story. Thank you.

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  23. 1 WEEK MARY

    Oh my days, my heart. It was so, so brave of you to write this post and I thank you for doing so. This post inspires me to be a better daughter and a better sibling. Thank you so much for writing this, and congratulations to you for working on yourself and your future. May your Mum rest in peace xxx