My memories of her come in snapshots now. A kaleidoscope of colorful fragments that somehow add up to a woman I called my mother. I can no longer hear her voice and the few examles of her handwriting have begun to look foreign and distant to me. I am losing her a little more each day. How is it that she still has such a hold on me? I often wonder if people tire of me talking about my mom. Wonder if they are thinking, "Ok, it's been 3 years now, get over it and move on with your life." I try, really I do, not to mention her in conversation. But I think that would be like me asking you to never mention your living mother....the memories are there and are still burning alive within my heart, as if they were put there yesterday. It takes 9 months to BRING someone into this world.....how can I let go of someone who was the major component of mine for 25 years?
Each time I look at her clumsily written recipe for lasanga I have to smile with a tear in my eye as I picture her writing it. Probably never realizing it would eventually become one of my most treasured possessions. Her pen is posed over the paper....she's making circles in the air just a hair above the paper....trying to figure out how to spell lasagna. She wasn't a good speller and seeing her mistakes in simple words like cheese or tomato makes me smile. She was left handed so her letters are slightly slanted and there are scribbles over letters didn't belong. The writing....the recipe....makes my mom come to life on paper.
The last thing I have that was written in her handwriting are a few pieces of paper that sit in the bottom of my treasure box. They are written with a shaky right hand, barely legible to me, entirely unreadable to those who weren't at her side when the words were written. My mother had a series of four strokes during her stay at the hospital. She lost control of much of her body and was in intensive care during one of my visits, so I was only able to see her in 15 minute spurts 4 times a day. On my last visit to her intensive care room, she scribbled as best she could, "I love you, be careful". I pull these notes from my box when I need a reminder that my mom loved me...enough to write it on paper even when she was in pain.
Such the mom she was that even in her state of helplessness, she still had the mind and the heart of my mother. The heart that never let up, that never failed to remind me that she loved me. The heart that knew that I was the one who needed to hear it more that any. The heart that knew of my regrets and, like the mother she was, forgave me of them. My dear sweet mom who reminded me to be careful....when she was truly the one in dire straits....and she knew then that I would never admit that to myself even after she was gone.
Sunday marks the 3rd anniversary of her death. Sunday marks the darkest day of my life...the day that unshakable, unselfish, unwarranted love was taken from me forever. I miss her more as each day passes. I hope to someday make her proud of the mom, the woman, the sister, the daughter I've become.
I only wish that I had the chance to prove what was left unproven when she left me. If only I could turn back time and not spend that last week in denial.....to admit to her that I knew she was leaving...and tell her it was ok and that I would be ok.
But she was my momma......so maybe she left knowing that already.
I love and miss you mom.