Mom, I get it. I do. And I'm sorry it took losing you to have such clarity.
I remember well that you were never the same after you lost your own mom. You told me how the first time you left home with your new husband, you returned home a few months later and wept when you held her as you realized how much you missed her. You told me that you still remembered her scent so many years later and it made you long for her. You bathed her, changed her diapers, and watched her die. Her death came as suddenly as yours did for me. You began drinking regularly after she was gone and now I get it. It took losing you for me to see how a piece of you died the day she did. I never got that until now.
I'm sorry I never understood what it was like for you to lose your mother until you were gone. Now I know.