Life After Loss – Mother’s Day
Several weeks before my husband passed away, we came home with a new estimate for how much time was left for my man. The estimates were just getting shorter and shorter. I was trying very hard to be normal, but seeing how hard eating became for him (one of his favorite activities) and especially after he threw up following some food, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. I just repeated “I don’t want you to die.” My man was hugging me and telling me “You will be fine. It will be very difficult, but you will be fine.” I was highly doubting this, and said “You don’t understand, I can’t live without you. I will just kill myself.” My husband held my head up and looked into my eyes “Have you ever thought about how Ashley (My step-daughter) will feel if you kill yourself? How devastated she will be?”
I suddenly calmed down and woke up from my anger and selfishness. He was right. It doesn’t matter what happens, as long as I am still here, this is still the home for my family. I have a responsibility to take care of them for my man, and for myself.
This is partially because my family has been taking very good care of me since the first day I came to America. I am lucky enough to get to celebrate Mother’s Day too, even if I don’t have my own kids. Ashley and her fiancé (who has been around almost as long as I have) always bring a card, flowers, and a gift. This year, they secretly came to my house, pulled weeds and put down 4 yards of mulch into my garden while I was out. When I came home they were almost done. They also brought me a very cute hanging strawberry pot too. They know how much I love gardening.
There are a lot of times I feel guilty because I don’t feel I deserve it. When I came to this family, Ashley had already graduated from college and my step-son had already finished his first year of college. I haven’t changed a single diaper and now I am getting the benefit of being a mother figure in our family. My man used to say “They may never call you mom, but you are the mom for them because they know you are taking care of them and you are here for them.”
This past Mother’s Day morning, I received an unpleasant comment on my Facebook post. A lady said I don’t really miss my husband, I just miss a maid and complained about how much work I have to do now without him. To be honest with you, I knew these types of comments would eventually happen since I put myself out there in the public, but it still hurt when I read those cold hearted words. I told Ashley about the comment and she was quite angry. She looked into that lady’s profile and asked if she could respond to that lady. Her fiancé even jokingly asked where she lived. Of course, I told them there was no need to get into an argument over online comments, but their response felt so good because they are willing to protect me and fight for me.
There were quite a few people who asked me if I will move back to China after my husband passed away. Each time I heard it I was wondering why they were asking me this weird question. Later, I realized that they know I came to America to marry my husband. Now that he is gone, they felt there would be no purpose for me to stay in a foreign country anymore. But what they didn’t know was my husband did not just give me unconditional true love, but also he gave me a family here, and for them I will stay.
Photos credited: Ashley Buck.
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