Today, March 11 marks 15 years since my mom Virginia Cerwin passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. What a horrible thing to see someone die from, never mind the fact that it’s your first experience with death. At the time I was only 24, a only child and I had barely lived life. To lose your mom at that age really changes the person that you are. For a while I didn’t always get along with my mom mostly due to her drinking and me being a teenager. Growing up I thought it was normal till I was 14 and a friend of mine broke it down to me what it was. Even worse my father was a “functioning” alcoholic. So I needless to say I had to grow up pretty fast. There where a lot of times things would always be said that felt like knifes being thrown at your heart. Now that I’m older I know it was not her it was the disease talking.
Unfortunately due to all the damage to the liver, my mom had a lot of toxins going to her brain so she had hallucinated a lot. And one of our last conversations two days before she passed away she had asked me if I was pregnant, I just took it to be one of the hallucinations. In the previous months before she died I had had two miscarriages. One at 11 weeks and one at 6 weeks. The last thing on my mind was having a baby, I only wanted to do was to save my mom. All of this took quite a toll on me. My husband at the time was in the Navy and we lived in San Diego, so going back and forth to NJ was exhausting. The saddest thing I had ever seen was my father collapse on the floor when they told him it was terminal. As a child you see your father as your super hero, brought to his knees in pain broke my heart to see him like that. I remember in her last moments that heavy breathing and the glassy stare. ( I would like to think she was seeing a better place) The nurses knew it was the end, they shut the alarms off on the monitors so they would not go off. I remember leaning in and telling my mom it was ok to go… those are words a 24 year old should never have to say to a parent. The next days I barely remember. Planning the funeral, getting people at the airport and most importantly taking care of my grandmother, god bless her she was 90 then. That poor woman buried two husbands and two daughters, I hope I end up with just a half of the strength she had. I know if she was here she would tell me it’s because she is Scottish and we are strong people. Little did I know that strength would come out in me with my fight with BC.
Now back to the point of my mom asking if I was pregnant. Ends up three weeks after the burial I waspregnant with my son Branden. Every time I talk about this I get chills. My father came and stayed for a month with me in San Diego right after the funeral and he was the first person I told! My mom wanted nothing more then for me to have a baby, I truly believe she had something to do with Branden! Finds out I have a genetic disorder that causes me to miscarry so I believe my mom had a hand in the miracle that is my son!
Mom, it’s been too long since I have seen you and heard you. I hope you are proud of the strong woman I have become, yes the Scottish part has something to do with it lol. I hope you are free from your demons that plagued you here on earth and you are happy where ever you are. You left us too soon at the age of 58. But I know everything happens for a reason, that reason was Branden. I love and miss you- Heather