The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 13, 2011

Published by Sunday, January 13, 2013 Permalink 0
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by Jonell Galloway

My parents lost their only son, my brother Cecil, when he was only 25. Life was never easy after that. They kept on hoofing it through life, getting up every morning to face a little world they’d built, made up of four children and two exceptionally bonded parents, a world now broken apart, a world from which one of the vital building blocks had been abruptly and inexplicably snatched away without a moment’s notice. For nearly a year I would wake up in the middle of the night, and feel my right arm to see if it was still there, because I had the sensation that it had been brutally jerked off from the moment my brother died. I can’t imagine the nightmares my parents must have had. My mother’s jet-black hair started to turn white immediately. My 6-foot father started drooping his shoulders instead of holding them high, as he had always done. There was always a lingering sadness, a hole in what was once a whole. The grief was ever-present and it didn’t go away. It never has. It never will.

Explosion of the Mind, painting by Abram Cruz













We were a tightly-knit family, welded together by the strength and love of my mother, and as I saw her emotional strength and courage wither away, she still held her head high and endured. Imagining that she too will go away soon loosens all the nuts and bolts that hold me together. Will I fall apart when the moment comes?

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  • Sixtine
    January 13, 2013

    Perhaps you will think you are falling apart. Andperhaps you shall fall apart for a while. But we have an inner strength that we cannot guess we have got until it reveals itself to us. Of course some people can endure more than others. But writing this kind of journal or diary shows that you are already thinking about the illness and the cure. I have experienced another answer and I discovered that Dad shared it with Mummy when she was at her worst (let’s not think she will go back to the worst again!) but it may not be the proper place to talk of it. In a private post, perhaps…

  • Martha Beard
    January 13, 2013

    You are in my thoughts. I know how you feel. Daddy died in 2000, Jesse in 2001 at 41, and Nancy Lou in 2003 at 50. Both those sibs were younger, and Nance was my best friend for most of my life.

    • Jonell Galloway
      January 14, 2013

      Thanks for your kind words, Martha. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to be the only one left. My heart goes out to you.

  • Ed Black
    January 15, 2013

    We will do our best to hold you together, but failing that we will do our best to put you back together. We all fall apart. What separates one from another is what happens afterwards.