Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009. 10:15am.

I had opened the cafe I was managing at the time that morning and had returned home to take a nap after my shift ended. I had several things I needed to get done that day but I was worn out from the week prior so I decided a short nap would be the best course of action.

I ignored two phone calls during that time.

I don’t remember who the first one was from, but the second was from my aunt. And when she called me back a few minutes later, I thought maybe I should answer it. But, I didn’t answer it in time and ended up having to call her back.

At the time, I was living in the house of a couple that had taken me in when my mom had kicked me out of her house. The wife of that couple had gotten home a few minutes prior and was in the kitchen as I walked in dialing my aunt’s number. She and I chit-chatted for a few minutes during which she ignored a couple of calls that came through her cell phone.

Then the house phone rang.

She turned to answer it as I left the kitchen and pushed “Send” on my cell.

“Hi, darlin’.”
“Hey Aunt Jodi, sorry I missed your call…”

There was silence on the other end.

And I knew.
Something was wrong.
I thought maybe something had happened to my grandfather, but … but Aunt Jodi was calling me. Not Mom.
Mom would call me if it were Grandpa.

“Aunt Jodi, what’s wrong?”
“Honey, your mama….your mama’s in heaven.”

headstone (cropped)

Six years ago, today, my mom committed suicide.

She had gone in to work that Tuesday morning and was found a few hours later in the bathroom. She’d taken a pistol in there with her.

Sometimes I wonder what was going through her head as she stood, facing the mirror, in that bathroom. Other times I ask myself why I would ever want to know those thoughts. But, most of the time, I simply wonder what brought her to that point. She had won the many battles with suicide for such a long time already (all of my life, really) why did she lose the war now?

I’ve pacified myself by answering that it was most certainly a combination of things – the death of her mother several months prior, finances, her struggle with bi-polar and borderline personality disorders and her never ending fear of abandonement, to name a few – which all came together, along with seeing a means to the end of it all (i.e. the pistol) and a place to do it.

In other words, motive(s) met mode and opportunity. And that made for lethal combination.

But, the truth is that I will never *really* know why she made the choice to leave this world, to leave my siblings, to leave her father and her sister, to leave her grandchildren…and to leave me. At least not on this side of heaven.

All I know is that I loved her and I long for the day when I can see her face, hear her voice and feel her hugs around me again.

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