Emotional overload and poetic symmetry in numbers

Numbers 2I have a thing for numbers. I like even numbers . . . . and numbers that end in 5 . . . . and palindromic numbers . . . . and prime numbers. I like poetic symmetry in numbers. My mom (who died when I was 16) was born on January 18th (1-18). My daughter was born on November 8th (11-8). I chose my phone number way back when because the last 4 digits rearrange to form the year my mom was born.

My obsession with numbers carries over into an obsession with dates. I calculated the day in which I would have lived more of my life without my mom than I had lived with her (it was September 19, 2011 – about a month after my 32nd birthday). The following August, I turned 33 – the age my mom was when she died. When I turned 34 the next year, I was officially older than my mom. These were all extremely difficult days for me, and I acknowledge that I mostly created them for myself. It’s what I do.

This year will be another particularly difficult year. It’s one of those 0 anniversaries – On September 4th my mom will have been dead for 20 years. I can say “dead” now. I feel like I’m sugar-coating when I say “passed away,” not that it doesn’t still slip out a lot. Dead is real . . . . it’s what it is. She’s dead. She’s not coming back. 20 years is a really long fucking time . . . . and I (hopefully) have a hell of a lot longer to go. It really sucks.

I also just moved this past Sunday . . . . for the 20th time in my life so far. See? Poetic symmetry. Moving is always difficult. I come across pieces of my mom – pictures, trinkets, old greeting cards, stuffed animals, her social security card, her 5th grade report card, you get the idea – and I hurt all over again. I relive all of it. The pain leading up to the hospital visit. The misdiagnosis of a compression fracture. Her holding my hand while the doctor told me it was cancer. The 4 months of treatments and late night vomiting and oxygen machines and hair loss and morphine-induced delusions and, of course, the morning she died. Most days I can think about my mom’s life without thinking about her death. I can’t seem to do that when I’m moving.

Numbers 1

There’s more numerical poetic symmetry to this move. Maybe it’s not exact, but it’s pretty damn close . . . . . The day my mom died is the day I told my dad that I did not want to live with him and was instead moving in with my aunt and uncle. And on Sunday, I moved in with my dad. It’s weird. It’s a mutually beneficial situation. I can save some money; he gets live-in help with my 10-year-old sister. And I think this is a really good opportunity for us to connect to each other. But it’s still weird to be nearly 36 years old and living with my dad . . . . . and to have it be almost exactly 20 years since I told him I didn’t want to live with him makes it even more weird.

The past few days have been overwhelming. Moving is stressful all by itself. To add all of the extra emotional bits . . . . not helping. I was standing in my new room for a grand total of 3 minutes before I had a panic attack. And there has been little to no sleep, which has left me in a consistent haze. I’ve fallen asleep sitting up several times over the past few days. I don’t do that. I need a dark room (or natural light) and my bed or the couch and at least 2 pillows and a blanket even if it’s hot.

I hated my house, but I am finding myself missing *my* shower and my space and my routine and my access to public transit. I thought all of the prep leading up to this would help me cope with the changes. I was wrong.

BoxesOn the bright side, I can hopefully build a better relationship with my dad. We’ve never been very close (potentially the understatement of the year), and there are still resentments that linger. This is a great opportunity to move past them. I also get to spend more time with my sister, which is awesome. My daughter is ecstatic. I’m around the corner from my best friend since 5th grade. And apparently, if a package arrives when I’m not home, nobody will steal it. That’s pretty cool.

I’m trying to focus on all of that. I really am. And then I sit down in my tiny lil’ room, and I look at my life in boxes, and I wonder if I’ll ever find a “forever home.” And then I knock on wood and cross my fingers and hope that my final move doesn’t end up as an odd number.

Image Credit 1

Image Credit 2

Advertisements