I never thought I’d say these words. People would ask me how old my mom is, and I would answer, embarrassed, that I didn’t know. I had stopped counting when she turned 60 because I just didn’t want to deal with the fact that she was getting older. Every year she celebrated her birthday and I’d ask her, “how old are you again mom?” and as quickly as she said the numbers, that’s as quick as I’d forget.
Death is inevitable. I know that. But a mother’s death is like no other. No matter how old you are when Death comes knocking, you are always your mom’s little girl. In the last few days I have felt a pain like no other. A heartache unimaginable. An ‘ouchy’ that only a mom could make better. Over the last four days I have wanted to curl up into a ball, on my mom’s lap and hear her say that it’s going to be ok. But I can’t. And it’s not.
On Thursday morning I was lying down with the stirrings of a migraine. I felt my phone vibrating and saw a missed call from my brother, and another one from my sister in law. And I knew something was wrong. I tried calling them back, but I had reached my call limit (don’t even ask) so I went downstairs to call from the landline. As I waited for my brother to answer, Mark called me on my cell. And in stereo I heard my brother say ‘mom’s gone’ and Mark saying ‘I am so sorry my angel!’ It was as if I needed to hear it twice, because I don’t think I would have believed it otherwise.
My mom was so ordinary. There was nothing glamorous about her. Material things meant absolutely nothing to her. She every rarely wore makeup or had her hair done. And the idea of pimping and preening was wasted on her.
But as ordinary as she was, she was extraordinary. Me, my brothers, my dad, and people she called friends, meant everything to her. She wasn’t big on saying ‘I love you’ nor on giving too many compliments but she didn’t need to because my mom oozed love. She was love!
I spent most of my adult years trying to be nothing like her. In my eyes she was too soft, she was a pushover and someone people took advantage of. I vowed I would never be like that. It would never be a case of ‘like mother, like daughter.’
But today as I weep at moments lost, words not said, and try to fathom the magnitude of this loss, my only wish is that one day, when people talk about me at my funeral, they will be able to say ‘she was so very much like her mom’.
Forgive me for rewording this
“My mom’s love is patient, her love is kind. She never envied, she didn’t boast but boy was she proud of us. My mom’s love was never self-seeking nor easily angered, and she kept no record of wrongs (unless you messed with one of us). My mother’s love, even now, especially now, always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Sally Louise, you are my moon, my stars. You are the reason I will always do my best to be a better person, to be more like you, because there will be no greater compliment for me to hear someone say ‘they were like two peas in a pod.’