Hope Floats & Day 11 – 30 Days of Thanks

Published November 18, 2011 by Sara

I have not watched this movie since my Mom passed and it has been I have been meaning to watch these past few months.

Well much to my surprise, it became available on Netflix and I sit here watching it. Talk about rollercoaster of emotions. I feel so much of the relationship between Birdie and her Mom, reflects how much of my relationship with my Mother. But it doesn’t end there, I can feel the desperation Bernice feels when her Dad refuses to take her with him after her Grandmother’s funeral. When she is crying on the side of the road, I understand that feeling of rejection all too well. I had the same relationship with my Father. He was suppose to have me every weekend and I would sit there on pins and needles waiting to see him, the time would come and go and he still hadn’t shown up. Then the phone would ring and my heart would literally sink, being as I knew it was him once again cancelling our weekend together. 

Now in hindsight, I can’t not even BEGIN to imagine how much this frustrated my Mom. To have to be the one to calm me down, get my mind off of it and make me feel like that my Dad loved me, although I felt he didn’t. It’s funny, how he got off so easy. He wasn’t the one who had to clam me down, make me feel better. How in the world do you calm a kid down when the person that dissapointed/let them down is not there? 

But being an adult, I can not fault my Dad for his actions. He grew up in a broken household. So did my Mom, but she used it to know how to NOT be. But Men are different creatures and some take it as a life lesson, others sometimes continue the viscious cycle. But all in all, I still love my Dad. I always have and always will. 

But back to the movie, even when Birdie yells at her Bernice for telling her Dad that they were sad. Then Birdie’s Mom starts to get after her for yelling at Bernice and then Bernice tells her Grandma to not “yell at her”. GOD, that is totally me. I can be angry at whomever I want, but I hate it when other people try to jump in. I understand they want to defend me as well, but I am capable of telling the person where to go and I don’t want the person to feel ganged up on. 

Also, it’s so weird to watch a movie from both perspectives. As a daughter and as a Mother. But it literally kills me to know, that when I am gone. I won’t be able to be here to console my children and make them better. Yes, in the spiritual sense, but not where I can physically hug them, wipe their tears and tell them everything is going to be alright. 

And watching the part where Birdie’s Mother passes away. Just utterly heart wrenching, even more so when she smells the clothes in her Mother’s closet. I am the type of person to smell clothes for that unique scent. Everything that I had to try and preserve My Mom’s smell, is gone. 

And with the holidays coming, I still feel the emptiness. I did not think after 3 years, she would still constantly be on my mind, which happens more when we get closer to the holidays. But I just wish it could be so much easier to get through. 

And while thinking of all this, made me think of when she was sick and staying in Hospice, which brings me to the 30 Days of Thanks – Day 18.

I want to thank Bob, the gentleman that was staying at Ruth’s Hospice center. I walked past his room everyday on the way to visit my Mom while she stayed there, and he was such a funny guy, we became instant friends. He took my mind off of just how depressing it was to be there. I always made a point to stop by his room to say Hello and see how far he had gotten on this dinosaur puzzle he was working on for one of the staff. He even commented on how well behaved my children were and said other people’s children that have come through are normally ruthless and out of control. I felt proud, that while my children may act like hooligans at home, they at least know how to be mindful in public places to behave.

And the night my Mom passed away, at one point I had to walk past his room and he was standing in the door way of his room. I wanted to tell him since I considered him a really good friend, but trying to form the words choked me up and I also felt it would be in poor taste to tell him considering he is there for his final days as well. But he grabbed me as I walked past and told me he was “Sorry, but remember, she is in a better place. No more pain, no more cancer and always know, she loves you very much!” I hugged him so tight, being as I knew this would be the last time I would see him as well. I knew I wouldn’t be coming back to the hospice center, being as it would be too painful. But the night my Mom passed, he was the only familiar face, the staff that was working were people I had seen a few times before but had not clicked with them and the one who told me my Mom had passed was a new girl I had never seen before. So it was comforting to have Bob there, he knew me and I knew him. (And thinking in hindsight, maybe the staff had told him, maybe he over heard, maybe he heard my sobs when the nurse told me she has passed. It was late in the night and it’s so quiet, even the slightest noise can be heard.)

I felt immense guilt and still do, for not going back to see him. I know now he has most likely passed away. The longest people live in hospice is 17 months and that time frame has since been doubled.

At first I had thought about him a lot, but as time goes on, I think about him every so often and wished I had told him for the short time we were friends, just how much his friendship did mean to me, but I was so consumed with my own grief and my children’s, that it never once crossed my mind.

So, Bob, I am thankful for you. For your humor, your light heartedness, honesty, making hospice just a little less gloomy and most importantly, your friendship. I really wished it was under different circumstances, but you are in my thoughts always. 😉


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