Mothers Day without a Mother for the 24th time.
Mom and Dad 1970
My mother celebrated her 68th Birthday on the 25th of April 1988. Easter was late that year, April 24th and the children and I ate at her house. She loved to cook and to celebrate holidays. She was a wonderful cook and the house smelled of the ham and all the fixings.
I was graduating from college the next month after waiting eleven years to complete my undergraduate degree. She got the graduation invitation that very same week. A promise to finish my degree had been fulfilled and she was coming to the graduation.
On April 30, 1988, I awakened and readied myself for my final exam in my last undergraduate class. My son was at his fathers home and my daughter, age 10, awaited her grampie to come pick her up to go stay with them until I was done.
I headed out to school, parked my car and went into the classroom. The professor handed out the exams and about 15 minutes into the exam, a message came in urgent from the main office. Please call your ex-husband. Since my son was asthmatic, I immediately thought something had happened to him. Instead, he informed me that my dad had called my daughter at my home and asked her to call him to get ahold of me and have me call the emergency room at a local hospital. Seems my mother was there and my father wanted to talk to me.
I called the emergency room and reached the ER nurse who got my dad on the phone. "She's gone Alice" was all I heard at the end of the line. My 68 year old mother died at the Doctors office of a myocardial infarction and although they rushed her to the ER, she had essentially died there before the Doctor was able to get to his office.
Recounting all of the things that happened that day is not the purpose of this short piece. What happened several weeks later was really the most amazing thing I wish to mention. At 33 years old, my mother died. Her own mother died when she was 5 years old, so I did have a lengthy time with her considering her own situation. But she had already purchased my Mother's Day card a few weeks prior and my dad handed me the card two weeks after her death, written in her handwriting. She told me she hoped I would have a "beautiful mothers day". It would be difficult without her.
You see, I am a mother too, but I think Mothers day is about my OWN mother, not me. I grieve each year that my mother cannot spend the day being loved, gifted, hugged and caressed. I miss her smile, her smell and the softness of her face. I miss her laugh, her wonderful meals, her stories, her kindness. She left too soon. I see people with their mothers and feel envious that they are still with them. I remember all the good times, but I also know she was never perfect, only as good as anyone can be without any kind of guidance, or training.
This is my 24th year without my Mother on Mothers Day. I am only 9 years away from having as many years without her as with her. Fathers Day is also bittersweet, as dad has been gone now for 20 years.
Cherish your parents like they will be gone tomorrow, as many of them will be. Take each day in time and love them, hold them, tell them you love them. Life offers us the moments, but we often are "too busy" or think we will have more time. We sometimes don't, and it is too late then to savor the time together we should have taken.
Love you mum. Know you are there always, just miss your hugs.