Tuesday, March 3, 2020, is the day I died. It is the day my mother, my rock, my hero is slipped into her own world.
We started to notice forgetfulness about a year before. She would be setting the table for our Sunday dinner and would be telling us some family gossip. She would be giving us direction in between the lines of the story and would be, what I would now officially now call multi-tasking. After sitting down for a while she reached over and smack my arm and launch into this very exciting gossip once again.
I knew what was happening, Alzheimers ran in the family. I watched my mom’s heartbreak about 17 years earlier when her father forgot who she was. I watched her swirl in fits of hurt, anger, and heartbreak. So, after finally getting into a specialist, she moved into my house and settled into a routine, and we braced for the next milestone in her decline.
She became what only she would describe as the green dragon. She was just so angry with everyone…all the time. My children certainly had to learn that she was not well and they struggled not to take it personally (that’s a whole other story – but know it’s a huge part of this). My husband, with the patience of a saint, managed as well as he could. But there was this overwhelming guilt that hung over my head. My husband wanted his wife back, my children wanted to be the ones dotted on and I couldn’t remember the last time I was actually alone.
Meanwhile, at work, things are picking up. We are now in the throws of a huge product launch and our deadlines kept slipping. I get it – it’s stressful. My team is working around the clock and I am letting things slip. I’m forgetting things left right and centre. I’m frustrated and frankly not doing so well.
So I was not surprised when last Tuesday, you called me into your office. You leaned back in your chair and started in on me “I don’t know what is happening with you, but you know there is nothing more important than this launch. So you need to roll up your sleeves, get your head in the game, and just get over whatever is going on.
I was done.
I came home, sent the nurse home, put $100 on the counter for pizza, and crawled up onto my mom’s bed. She yelled at me to get out and that she was going to call the police. I sang her favourite song and slowly her brow unfurled. She smiled and launched into the story of why she and her daughter loved that song so much. I listened and cried.
I sobbed, the ugly kind of sobbing. I cried and wailed like I have never cried before and in a tear-filled glance, my mom looked at me (like actually looked at me), put her hand on my face, and said “now now Lanie – just think – the crying will be over soon and the sun will shine again. Be brave little one..” She wrapped her little arms around me, rubbed my back, and hummed her song.
That was the last time my mother said my name. It was the last time she held me. It was for all intents and purposes the night I died.
This is a very long way of saying to you, I am sorry I let you down and no, I won’t get over it.
I won’t get over the fact that I look into my mother’s eyes and I see a stranger. I won’t get over the idea that her heart feels empty. That she seems to look through me and not see the love I have for her. I won’t get over the idea that she would have hated not knowing me.
It is with this heavy heart that I am handing in my resignation. That while I am passionate about all things marketing and the glorious mission this company is on, I am dedicated to my family and to myself. I am dedicated to putting love first and I will do everything I can to not move on from that dedication. I am honoured to give as much love to this amazing woman as I possibly can, while I can. My children are watching, they will remember. So, in my humble opinion, yes, there are things more important than the launch.
I don’t think this is a resignation letter that you have seen before and it is my hope for you, that it is also the last.
I will ask someone on my amazing team, to collect my things from the office. I will be happy to talk to HR about why I resigned and I will also be here, cheering this company on from afar.
Thank you for reminding me what is best in life.