Beds and Birthdays
When my mom was first diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago, before she started chemo we went sheet shopping. We bought everything luxurious you can buy at Target for a bed. We got high thread count sheets, a temperpetic mattress pad, several different types of pillows, a new comforter with just the right amount of smoosh and crinkle (it’s important), a new duvet cover, and layers and layer of blankets. Honestly, the more layers the better amiright?. The idea was to make her bed a sacred place, since the chemo was going to make her be in it a lot.
After that, bedding kind of became her signature thing. Every bed in our house slowly transformed from being a regular bed to being a dream. My mom had a recipe for coziness, and it was a really good one. Even my college dorm room bed was comfy and cozy.
Not only was her bed the most comfortable, it was an invitation for conversation. We’d climb in bed early on days she didn’t feel good and watch movies, or sit in it in the mornings and plan out our days. So many important life shaping conversations with her took place hanging out in her bed. In the mornings before we’d leave, I would help her make it because, “there is just something about getting into a nicely made bed” (she wasn’t wrong).
Even when things got worse with her health, her bed was still an open invitation. Last year on my birthday we laid in it all day. We watched “You’ve Got Mail”, talked about life, college, relationships, a lot about Jesus, but mostly she slept.
Tomorrow is my birthday, this morning I woke up and intentionally made my bed a little nicer than usual, I can’t think of a better way to end this year than to climb into a nicely made bed. A whole year has passed we laid in her bed and talked. I know our conversations would look so different this year because so much changes in a year.
This past month has been really weird, not filled with meltdowns or hard things, just weird. I’ve felt a little off kilter trying to balance my thought life as I naturally revert to reliving last year. From when she was diagnosed last February to when she passed away was so short. It was filled with so much heartache. I’ve learned that I’m not emotionally intelligent enough to understand why I react the way I do to certain situations, and it’s frustrating that it takes so long for me to process and deal with them.
Today (and tomorrow) instead of feeling weird, I’m trying to remember all the really good memories. Not hospitals and cancer or the fear that encapsulated last February, but who she was and why she was so great. Like her recipe for a cozy bed. Or the million conversations we had in it.
If you knew her, I would love it if you sent me your favorite memory of her (the funnier, the better). Maybe we could consider it a birthday gift, or something?