Even after almost 12 years I still find myself missing her so much. There are many, many times that I wake up just wanting to talk to her one more time.
That feeling is magnified when I talk to friends whose mothers are going through serious illnesses, and when I see the pain of worry in their eyes and hear the fear in their voices as they talk about the surgeries or the chemo their mom is facing. When they talk about her memory issues and how scared they are about what could be ahead.
It makes my heart hurt. For both of them.
Because I know all too well how they feel.
Moms are so special. Most of us have been blessed with wonderful loving mothers who would have given their lives for their children…and if they’re still around, they still would.
When we’re very young, our moms are the ones who are always there for us; who encourage us; guide us; and yes, tell us when we’re wrong, even though we may not want to hear it at the time. As we get older our relationship evolves into not only a deeper love, but a friendship that only another mother and daughter can understand.
And when that relationship is threatened because Mom is seriously ill, we just want to return to that easier time, when we were kids and Mom was younger and healthy, and our biggest problem was what to eat for dinner or wear to school for picture day.
Because our moms are special. Whether we’re lucky enough to see or talk to them every day, or only see them once or twice a year, they’re still our moms, and just knowing they’re at least only a phone call away gives us a sense of comfort. A sense of comfort we don’t totally appreciate until it’s gone.
It seems like forever since I’ve been able to talk to my mother. But I still remember the sound of her voice, and I can still hear her say my name in my mind, almost as clearly as if she were standing behind me. I hope I never lose that sound. There are so many times I need to hear it.
I never really had a fear of losing her. Not until the last year or so of her life when it suddenly became clear she wasn’t going to be with us forever. She’d been a part of my life for so long, I’d never even thought about that possibility. I just always accepted she’d be part of our lives forever. But no one lives on this earth forever.
I miss her. A lot. Even after so many years there are still times I find myself saying, “I need to tell Mom that!” Or, “Mom will love hearing about what Rachel (her great-granddaughter who’s named after her) did today!” Sometimes I even pick up my phone and start punching in her number (yes, I still remember it)…until I remember I can’t. She’s not there anymore. And I don’t know her phone number up in heaven.
Even at my age, I still miss her. There are so many times I still need to talk to her. To get her advice. To share special moments of happiness. And be comforted when things go wrong as only my mother could do.
Mom taught me well, although I didn’t know it at the time. She taught me what it means to be a mother, and passed a very special and important baton to me when she left. You see, now I’m the mother that’s the head of our family. The matriarch. I’m the one our daughter looks to during those moments, those times a daughter just needs her mom. And even then, I find myself longing for my own mom’s advice, because I know I can never fill her shoes.
I wonder if she felt that way about her own mother. Somehow I believe she did. After all, Mother’s are special, especially to their daughters.
As we approach Mother’s Day, a holiday that’s still hard for me because she’s no longer here to enjoy it with, let me remind each of you to remember how special your mother is. If she’s still here, spend time with her, and if you’re not lucky enough to live nearby, call her, and talk to her as long as you can.
Even if your relationship with her isn’t good, for each of your sakes, make the call, or drop by for a short visit. At least she’s still around. One day she won’t be, and you won’t have the opportunity any more.
Mom, I miss you. I love you. I still need you here. But I can’t change things. I know you’re happy where you are, because you’re with my father again. But I still selfishly wish you were here.
Happy Mother’s Day. I hope it’s wonderful up in Heaven. And I hope you can get a glimpse of us as we’re celebrating three generations of women in our family. We love you. And miss you terribly.
Because you’re special. And always will be.