Missing Mom

Today would have been my Mom’s 74th birthday. Man, she loved her birthdays. I think maybe I should drive her grand kids over to Terre Haute and eat at some crappy chain restaurant in her honor.
Maybe not.
I can’t decide if losing your mom gets easier with time or not.
One benefit of time passing is that I don’t forget it as often. I can’t tell you how many times those first few months I would hear something and think, “I should call Mom and tell her… oh, right. She’s dead. I’ll never call and talk to her again. Gosh, I sure do love spontaneously crying in the canned vegetable aisle at the supermarket.”
Brains are cruel little bastards. The scientist in me knows those blips are just part of me processing the loss. She’s on my mind, I miss her, but I’m also trying to wall off the pain. So part of my brain would remember what the rest of my brain was trying to forget.
At least I’m not torturing myself like that. Well, not as often.
I know people like to say Time Heals All Wounds, but, well… not so much. Sure, the heat and fire of the emotions have tapered off. But now the pain is just deeper, more calm. It’s not an enemy now as much as a grouchy friend that’s here to stay, so no use fighting about it.
The worst of all of this is, the more I accept that she’s gone forever, the clearer I see my own grave.
Mortality is a bitch, my friends. No one gets out of this alive.
I’ve said a few times over my life that it would be better to not think so much, to not harness myself with the weight of the world as much as I do. Ignorance is bliss, right? These days I think I’d really enjoy a moment or two to feel that naive immortality I felt when I was 18 and invincible.
I read in a book this morning (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) that the definition of an adult is someone who has accepted their own mortality. I don’t know about that as a definition. I just know that these days it feels like I know as many dead people as living people, and the ratio keeps getting worse.
My friends, please tell your people you love them, often and with feeling. Always believe in yourself, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing. Go out there and attack life like you mean it. Be kind to each other.
Do me a favor today, would ya? Call your mom. Because you can. Or, better yet, give her a hug, then give her another one for me.
Sep 10, 2018

3 thoughts on “Missing Mom

  1. I’m also a parent without a mom, and damn those grocery store cries all to hell! When I lost my mama, I lost my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and so much more.

    I remember the first time I cried in front of anyone was to a neighbor that was barely more than a stranger. Her words did soothe me (“Honey, you won’t always remember her the way she was at the end” — which I am not even sure was relevant but was good to know nonetheless).

    Almost-a-Stranger Neighbor was right, though. As the distance between the present and Death Day grew farther and farther apart, I began remembering my mom through different phases of my life, and the roles she would play in each one. It took me a long while to realize that stumbling across a pieces of my past provided an entry point for me to draw upon my memories of my mother when I was in high school, when she took me on travel soccer trips, etc. It’s almost like I – or maybe we – need to mourn the loss of our mothers through the passages of time in which we were lucky enough to have them by our side or even just a phone call away.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. I know the feeling. My mom died when I was five, and my dad when I was nine. My memory of them is so fragile–I had them for such a short time that they are like paper dolls with little substance to flesh them out. I have to rely on old photos and other people’s stories to make them come alive. Still, even all these years later, I miss them. I never know when the feeling will hit me. I could be reading a book, watching a movie, or see a child run into their mom’s arms. You’re right. Time is precious and is never better spent than when we share it with the people we love.

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