Mother’s Day, one would think that eventually it wouldn’t matter anymore. My mom left this world nearly 34 years ago. On July 7th, 1984 the cancer that she’d faced most of my childhood took her. I was 12 years old when we said our last good byes.
There are so many things that I remember. For one I remember standing around her beside in the hospital room wanting to reach out and touch her hand. I wanted to touch her, to feel the reality that she was dead. My dog had died some weeks before and when I touched the dog’s dead body it was cold and stiff and I knew that her spirit had gone. I wanted to touch my mom’s hand to know that her spirit had gone on, but instead I told myself her body wouldn’t be cold yet, it wouldn’t be stiff, everyone would think me weird for touching a dead person.
I wish I had reached out and touched her. I wish I had snuggled up beside her one last time and felt the life leave. But, it’s too late for that now. Still, while her body is gone her spirit lives on.
I have an afghan that she started for me before passed on. I remember her working on it. She got too sick to finish it and my Aunt Coletta took it up and finished it for her. It was my last Christmas gift from Mom, six months after she died. When I am sad, lonely, just needing a hug from Mom I wrap myself up in it and can feel her arms around me, just like when I was a little girl.
This morning I was remembering childhood, thinking about Mom. I can hear her laughing, such a joyous, uninhibited sound, so pure. I can see her in the kitchen ironing and listening to Brewers game, washing dishes and singing along with Eddie Arnold, visiting with Uncle Fritz or Aunt Dorothy, or all the other family and friends who came in and out our door. I can taste her bread, those chocolate bottomed cupcakes, Sunday breakfast. I can see her making those silly baby faces and goofy noises, playing with my nieces and nephews. There’s so much.
I’ll always miss her, but I guess there are some things I’ve come to know. I know that she’s still here, in my memory and in my heart. And, I know that I want to laugh and sing and make goofy baby noises and spend time with family and friends and eat good food and do all the simple things in life that maybe someday someone will remember and know that my life was well lived. She taught me well about what’s important. I thank her and carry it on.
I love you Mom!