A weird thing happened today. I thought, “I should call mom and tell her about that.” And then I remembered, “Oh, yeah. Can’t do that.” She left the world at the start of 2012.
I guess it’s actually not that odd. People probably go through that all the time after a loved one passes on. It’s like experiencing “phantom limb” but with a person who’s gone instead of a missing leg or arm.
My mother wasn’t young. She was 83. Her actual passing, while not tragic, still surfed along on the tail end of a tragic situation which I won’t go into today.
There’s always more to say and there’s never enough time. We stopped speaking for a year, at one point, but then got together again to resolve our issues. I feel lucky. Many people never do.
But there’s always more to say. And there’s never enough time.
There’s always more memories you want to share, more laughs you want to have, and you can’t because there’s a new silence that stretches out where their voice used to be and there’s a dim ache that never gets worse but never quite goes away either.
I wrote this poem for my mom ten years ago. Recently I found it, framed, in the bookcase in her’s and Dad’s bedroom.
Poem to my mother
used to wish for better communication
but realize what we have will do
am grateful beyond words
for the life you’ve helped me achieve
used to wish we understood one another better
but figure no one can know anyone’s heart
could wish for a different mother and you
could wish for a different daughter
but we are what we are
and we’ve come this far
can’t imagine your sacrifices
hope the regrets are minimal
thank you for making them
can’t hope to repay you
but will keep trying as long as I can
can’t say thank you and hope that
but will keep saying it as long as
thank you for understanding
thank you for not understanding
thank you for your anger
thank you for your forgiveness
thank you for your worry
thank you for my childhood
thank you for holding on
thank you for letting go
thank you for doing your best
thank you for being my mother
I think she would be happy about my book coming out, too, even though it wasn’t the romances she thought I should be writing. It’s on a promo sale for a few days for 99 cents! She would love that too. She loved a good deal.