Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mom

This is an annual repost.
I'll be taking the day off from blogging to remember a truly wonderful woman.
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Here it is, another of those "anniversaries" that you don't celebrate, and yet don't ever forget.

My Mom died of cancer four years ago today, and, while, as I've always said, it never gets easier, it does somehow get better.

As a child, we believe all sorts of things. We believe bunny rabbits sneak into our houses and leave money under our pillows in an exchange for an old tooth; we believe reindeer fly and an old guy in a red suit can come down your chimney--even if you don't have a chimney--bearing gifts.

And we believe our parents will live forever.

But as we grow, we learn the truth about bunnies with coins, and Santa Claus. We realize that many of our childhood wishes and dreams are just that, wishes and dreams, but, somehow, we still believe our parents will live forever.

And they don't.

I sit in my kitchen and I can picture my Mom across the table from me even though she never saw this house. If I hear a funny joke I hear her laughter. When I'm making dinner for Carlos and me, and I make enough to feed a family of ten, I think of my Mom and how she always made extra for leftovers.

Leftovers.

Leftover memories, but no new ones. And that's the scary part. I'll have no new memories of my Mom. So, today, especially, I'll remember the good memories of my Mom.

I'll remember how she ended every phone call with Bye bye sweetie, I love you.

I'll remember her smile. and her laugh. And how she'd say, in mock surprise, Bobby! every time I said or did something crazy.

I'll remember the time she died her hair platinum blond and I thought she was the most beautiful woman on earth.

And I'll remember her with no hair, undergoing cancer treatment and still thinking she was the most beautiful woman on earth.

I'll remember being in school on a cold rainy day and knowing that Mom would be home making Clam Chowder. The best chowder ever.

I'll remember my Mom pushing a snowblower around the deck at their house in Blue Canyon.

I'll remember coffee and crossword puzzles. Housecoats.

I'll remember our Day After Awards Show phone calls when we'd compare notes over who won, who wore what, and who we liked and didn't like.

I'll remember how she loved to paint, and how we have some of her work in our house now, and how proud I feel when people say they like it.

I'll remember how she welcomed Carlos into the family like he'd been there all along.

I'll remember how much she loved my Dad, and her kids, and her friends, and her dogs.

I'll remember Thanksgiving, with Mom doing all the cooking, and how much she loved doing that for her family and friends. 

I'll remember being there on that day, four years ago, when she left us, and feeling  grateful to have had her for as I long as I did, and feeling loved, and feeling happy that she was peaceful again.

I'll just remember.

I love you, Mom.

8 comments:

R.J. said...

Your Mom sounds absolutely wonderful. Sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a parent is tough. It's been eight years since I lost my Mom and even though I've moved on I'll never forget her.

katesdad said...

Hi Bob....Neal forwarded your post to me. Thanks for the tribute; beautifully written. I'm currently in the process of loosing my own Mother, we're told, within a couple of months. I'm already revisiting memories and events. As I heard Whoopi Goldberg say when speaking of the loss of her own mother, "One of the best people I've had the privilege of knowing. "I don't think she quite realized how many lives she touched -- she was an extraordinary woman. "...who will ever love me like my mother"? That sums it up for me....

Stephen said...

Lovely & heartfelt post. She must be very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She must be so proud of you!
I know I am proud of you for your openess which is an inspiration to us all.

Mark said...

I'm still in the denial phase that my mom is going to die. Death sucks. And by the way, reindeer can fly, even if for very short and low flights.

Sean said...

What a loving, wonderful tribute.

Stan in NH said...

Best wishes, Bob. A wonderful tribute as always.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope you had some good memories during this difficult anniversary.