it’s been 4 years this week since she’s been gone…
This week marked the 4 year anniversary of my mother’s passing and it brought up so many thoughts and memories I didn’t even realize I had. We like to think we are so different from our mothers…but are we?
My Mom has been on my mind a lot lately for a variety of reasons. One of which is that I recently came across a letter she wrote to me right after our moving to Maryland from Pennsylvania. And reading it made me cry. But it also made me understand some things a little better.
In the letter she expressed her concern for us being so far away and that she wouldn’t get to see me as often and we wouldn’t be able to go shopping together like we did when I lived in the same city as her. She told me that some day I would know how she felt and that she hoped we would still be as close as we had been before the move. Now, I only moved about an hour and a half away, so it wasn’t like I moved across the country to California or to New England like my youngest did, but she was concerned it would change our lives and our closeness. And she wanted me to know she missed me.
“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.” ~ Susan Gayle
I went up there once a week and we still did our dinners and went shopping. We also did every holiday with her and Dad. They had wonderful get togethers at Christmas and picnics on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day where the whole family would be at their house to celebrate. These celebrations were so important to Mom and she made them very special for everyone. I really loved spending time with my parents and the rest of the family but sometimes I just didn’t feel like going. Maybe because it was expected that I be there and maybe I just wanted to stay at the beach longer with my friends and not come back early to be at the family gathering.
And so one year I did just that, I stayed at the beach and called to say I wouldn’t be getting back for this get together. Mom was quite upset that I wasn’t coming home but I stood my ground. I didn’t go, I had fun at the beach with my friends. That Tuesday after Labor Day I got a call at work that my father had a massive coronary and died. I have never forgiven myself for not going to the Labor Day family gathering that year. The last one we ever had.
We all make choices that don’t work out or we feel were a mistake at the time. And this is one I regret. Not only that my father died and I missed seeing him one last time, but how much I had let my mother down by not coming home. Our parents are only here for part of our lives. Some people get to have them longer than others. But the point is, they won’t be here forever so if they ask something of us, maybe we should do that thing for them. And if you are lucky enough to still have yours, spend time with them as often as you can and tell them you love them.
I also had to call my mother every night at 11pm. Every night without fail. She would call me if I didn’t and I would be in big trouble. It was just something we did. She did it with her mother and we had to do it too. I had moved out of our home so I didn’t see her anymore on a daily basis. And I would be somewhere and think OMG, it’s 11:00 I have to call Mom. I get it now…why she wanted me to call. I was 15, 3 months shy of 16 and I was a kid. She missed me and she wanted to be part of my daily life. I didn’t get that then. It was just another thing I “had” to do!
All of these things I ‘had’ to do…and I would do them all now in a heartbeat if I could. But I can’t. I still love to shop and go with my daughters and grand kids. But I would give anything to go shopping with Mom. I do blame her quite frequently for my shopping habits. It’s all her fault that I buy the things I do. At least that is what I tell myself.
Love you and miss you Mom! Talk to you later…
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~ Honore de Balzac