The day hope died.
It was a few days after the 1st of the year that I noticed something. Normally around the first of the year as habit would have it, I usually go around changing the paper calendars throughout the house. We've just recently stopped using paper calendars but the habit of going around to their typical locations is still ingrained. And for the past 3 months, that's pretty much all I've been functioning on, habit. What we do have now in the place of paper calendars is a dry erase calendar. We use this mostly for our DJ business. It's a way for us to quickly look up and see what's coming up.
That's when I saw it. I hadn't looked at or touched that calendar since October 15th. The day before my mom was murdered. My mom had been "gone" for so long but I never gave up hope. She'd been off her medications for 8 years but I still didn't give up hope that someday, somehow, someway, she would get back on them. Then she would become stable like she was for the 20 years previous. Every time I saw her walking down the street, I hoped. When I would stop and talk with her, I hoped. I hoped that she was having a good day and would be happy to see me. I hoped we'd have a good visit. I hoped to see a glimmer of the mother I used to know. Most days were not good, but I still hoped. I hoped she would say, "take me to the hospital Chell". I hoped that they would keep her long enough this time. Every time that I got a phone call from her, I hoped she would say that she was going to go get help and get back on her meds. When I talked to someone who said they had been with her for a few days, that she had stayed with them in their home, strangers mind you, but I still hoped that they too would find a way to get through to her that they could get her to the hospital. When the hospital would call to tell me that she was there or ask for permission for anything, I hoped. Even when the police would call, I hoped. Always hoped she would get the help she needed, this time. Each and every countless time, I hoped.
I hoped they would hear me tell her story about how she was successful for 20 years and it could happen again if they would just give her more time in the hospital. Not just 3 days, not 2 weeks. They never listened. But I still hoped.
On October 16th just after 8:00 in the morning my phone rang. The caller ID said it was from the police department. Not unusual for me to receive these calls. I'd gotten so many from them, sheriff's, hospitals, businesses, even from jail. I was prepared to give them the usual spiel. ...No, I will not come pick her up, please Baker act her she's off her meds and has been homeless.... please just Baker act her so maybe this time she'll get the help she desperately needs, please. And once again, I hoped.
What happened next can only be described as, well, really, you can't describe it. It's like a woman trying to explain the pains of natural child birth. You can't describe the feeling. All at once everything fades, collapses, melts, dies. Such a desperate, agonizing, surreal, end. In an instant, you feel everything and nothing. While she lay sleeping, my beautiful mother who I had so desperately hoped to be reunited with, who I had never given up on, never stopped hoping for, died. Brutally murdered. Her life ended. And so did hope.
Although it died with my mother, I'm finding it's the hardest thing to let go of. For nearly two weeks after she was murdered, I looked for her. Every block, every street, every bench. Day after day I kept looking thinking, hoping I'd see her. I just knew they had the wrong person. It couldn't be her. When I finally was able to view her body, I remember thinking that I could no longer deny that she was dead. Looking for her faded. Hoping to see her faded, slowly. Some may say, now you can have hope that you'll see her again in Heaven. No. That's not hope. That's faith. I'm confident we will see each other again. I bet she'll be waiting for me. I can picture her sitting on a bench, waiting. Smiling.
There is a new hope building inside me. A hope that somehow, someway, her story will live on through me and together we can make a difference in someone else's life. Hope will then be reborn. I hope.