Next week, Tuesday to be exact, will mark 5 years since our mom’s body breathed its last breath here on earth. Mama had Alzheimer’s and because of that, we hadn’t really had a mama in a long time. To you this may sound cold, but I haven’t shed a tear over her passing. Be assured, rivers had been shed before that day. Alzheimer’s is an ugly, ugly disease that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My husband was fighting stage 4 lung cancer at the same time and my life was more than on overload. It was a relief, actually, to know Mama was no longer entombed by a disease that robbed her of her own self.
These past 4 1/2 years, I have grieved for my husband and not my mom. But, for some reason, she has been on my mind a lot lately. One of my new neighbors made the comment right before Mother’s Day that I must really miss my mom. I felt bad that I didn’t. I think her comment set my mind to thinking more than I realized. My sister and I were talking about it one day recently and I said to her that I think the problem is that we can’t really remember the mom we want to miss. But when I stop and ponder, I can remember that mom.
That mom was the one who taught me how to properly hang clothes on the line outside to dry. She took pride in hanging them just so. As you can see from my picture, I still enjoy that almost lost art. A line of neatly hung clothes is really a pretty sight, isn’t it?
That mom was the one who sang while she cleaned her house. She LOVED a clean house.
That mom was the one who instilled in me the importance of having neat linen closets. She is the reason I stand in the hallway at the beach and straighten the wash cloths and towels and sheets!
That mom is the one who sang with us in the car and cooked us good meals on a very limited budget.
That mom is the one who had to toss out the bassinet cover because I had brought all the neighborhood kids in to see my new sister.
That mom is the one who would drive 5 hours to see her new granddaughter and then take her home with her for a week until we could come get her.
That mom is the one who stayed with me for two weeks after Stacey was born and did everything for me. In fact, she did so much that when she left to go home, I didn’t know what to do with my newborn.
That mom is the one who cried after that two-week stay even though she promised herself she wouldn’t.
That mom is the one Stacey and I did everything with once we were able to move back to our hometown.
That mom is the one I couldn’t wait to call to share whatever was going on in my life; good and bad.
That mom is the one who I now find myself missing.
There comes that time in our lives when the role of our moms take on a different slant. Mama’s disease started a long, long time ago and robbed us of more of the mother-daughter times I would have liked to have had. Without that dreadful disease, my list could have been endless. But the mom the disease caused her to be wasn’t pretty and thus my list ends early.
I guess my point of all this is that if you still have your mom, spend as much time with her as you can while you can. Share the ups and downs of your life with her. Invite her to do things with you. Call her just because you can, not just when you need something. There is a really good chance that there will come a day when you have to become the “parent,” but until then savor the time you have been given. Life is short. And sometimes it is shortened even more by an ugly disease.
So, yes, I guess I am missing my mom; that mom who loved me with everything she had in her. And the tears? They find themselves pooling in my eyes as I share with you this mile marker in my lifeline. Even though so many years were hard, I am still very, very thankful that God chose to give me to THAT MOM.
Lots of love, Sharon