“I’m never going home”.
Those words were the last to ever touch my ears from my mother’s lips.
Hitting my heart like a ton of bricks, I never could have believed it would the last time I would look into her pale blue eyes or see that broken body that used to store the strongest and most generous soul I’ve ever known. In that one fleeting moment of lucidity, she conveyed more truth than she’d been capable of in longer than I can remember.
Her words weren’t just true (she died 3 days later), they’ve also served as my vitality killing kryptonite for nearly twenty years. Racked with guilt, shame, and sadness, I’ve barely lived. Blaming myself for crimes I didn’t commit and searching painfully for things that don’t exist to fill the massive hole in my heart I thought she left.
The perfect body.
The perfect career.
The perfect relationship.
The perfect home.
The perfect words…
No matter how many times beautiful, loving people said “Your mom wouldn’t want this for you”, and my head bobbed up and down in rote acknowledgement, my heart locked down as if filled with fresh cement, preserving the hurt inside me like a crypt.
I’ll never know what I’ve missed.
It doesn’t matter now.
Somehow, and believe me I wish I had some brilliant little nugget of wisdom to convey rather than “I just woke up one day”, her words are now my mantra.
I’m never going home.
I’m never going home to that place where worry and regret are my roommates.
I’m never going home to that place where my success and self worth are measured by a full plate.
I’m never going home to that place where my head and my heart avoid play dates.
I’m never going home to that place where I believe it’s too late.
I’m already home.