I love/loved my Mom.
She passed away five years ago this November, yet I still miss her. And, with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, she has been in my thoughts more than usual lately…
I wound up with two pretty great parents – as an adult. My Mom, Dad and I struggled a bit till I was maybe 20 or 21. They were not the perfect parents I wanted them to be and, to be honest, I was maybe not the most perfect son, either. But we worked through it all and by my early twenties, I felt closer to my Mom and Dad than ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dad but my Mom, oh my Mom. She was super funny (both my parents are) and for all her pretense, could cuss and swear like the saltiest sailor. Up until her passing, I spoke with my parents probably every 2-3 days, usually my Mom as my Dad is a kinda’ quiet guy. But even when he didn’t get on the phone, my Mom would always shout to him – so I could hear her – “Kenny? Timmy’s on the phone and he said to say he loves you” to which I could always hear my Dad shout back, “OK then.” My Mom made me laugh, my Mom busted my balls – my Mom supported me, always, and did the best she could to make me as happy as possible. That’s what Moms are supposed to do, right?
When my Mom passed away, quietly and unexpectedly in her sleep without warning, it took me many, many months to remember that I couldn’t “call her later” or that the shiny tablecloth at TJ Maxx that I knew she would love she would never get to see. I still “talk” with my Mom – pretty often, actually – but with my heart now, not with a phone. I still miss her, and I know my whole family does, too. I am pretty lucky; I had my Mom till I was 50+ and I still have my Dad, so I have had love and anchors all my life. I know so many people that don’t have that now, or never had it…
This is probably my favorite picture of my Mom:
This is my Mom’s senior class picture and I have always loved her in this image. In this picture I see a beautiful young woman, her smile broad, her eyes (and heart) full of hope, anxious to begin her adult life. As was the tradition at the time, she is wearing a “ruffle” around her neck, showcasing the string of pearls she received from my grandfather as her graduation gift. In 1955, no young woman needed a college education – apparently they needed strands of pearls, a husband and some kids. I wish I had known my Mom when this picture was taken.
My Mom’s life and dreams definitely took a detour or two; five years after this picture was taken, she had given birth four times. At 22, my Mom had carried and delivered four kids.
I feel like she never really got to “live.” Yet she never complained about her life, more than the usual bitching we all do. She was the best Mother she knew how to be – sometimes, in the moment, I didn’t understand that but have come to see it and love her all the more for it. You know the fight – that fight – the one with a miserable teen man-boy shouting at his Mother something like “You are the worst Mom ever!” and she is shouting back something like, “Well, I am doing the best I can!”? I understand now that she was… Thanks, Mom.
So listen – if you are lucky enough to still have your Mom with you, this Sunday be sure to thank her for being your Mom and loving you. Better yet, maybe do it as soon as you are done reading this post. And Mom? I love and miss you!