In Memory of Mom

I know for a million percent fact to be gentle with myself today and to be sure I have my plans in place.

I lost my mom in July of 2009 and like many can say, she was my role model and hero. She divorced my dad after 29 years of which about the last nine (probably more) were tolerated only because of “the kids”, meaning me at 16 or so as both of my siblings were older. My dad was a sullen, brooding, mean drunk. The kind who lost jobs and blamed it on everything except for his 24/7 drinking. When mom got the courage to leave, she was a free woman doing things like learning to drive at age 50 and being in charge of her newfound life.

Mom and I were incredibly close. I was the baby and we had a special bond i cant even begin to describe. For the last 4 months of her life we had hospice coming in several times a week. My older sister (with whom mom had a bit of an estranged relationship with) came up to help. I was newly divorced at the time and had just bought my first house of my own, 20 minutes away from mom, and where I currently live. Sis and I took turns with the care taking. The on duty daughter would stay full time with mom and after a few days would switch places with the other who would have been staying at my house refueling their well. To this day I can’t thank my sister enough because she left her whole world that was 10 hours away to share in this journey. We had different care taking styles but each benefited mom in its own unique way.

I instinctively knew within a week from when mom was going to succumb to her illness. My sister had left on a Thursday for a brief visit home, followed by an intended annual trip to a festival she enjoys. This was all planned only because of how well mom was doing. Eerily, I knew without a doubt that mom would pass on my watch and sure enough, Sunday morning I awoke to her no longer being in our physical world. It was heartbreaking but also relieving to see my mom out of all her pain. Her independence had been compromised and I know how difficult it was for her to feel like a burden on others. Her selfless attitude and sense of humor carried with her to the end.

What I can do today is conjure up all of the millions of wonderful memories I have of her. I can live like she had lived which means sending a smile someone’s way, refraining from judgment and enjoying family time, being 100% present.

I also know that staying poison
free is a way to honor her memory. No matter how my day goes I want nothing more than to honor my amazing mother. I set my expectations low for the day because I don’t want to get myself into a tizzy if they are not met, which has definitely been the case in the past.

All I want is some reading time (which I’m about to do now even though its only 5 am – hell – I’m up for now anyways.). I want our regular family church time and I want one hour of help from the fam cleaning the downstairs which I have already mentioned to them this whole past week. Plan B if that doesn’t come to fruition? To do the cleaning myself to rocking 80’s tunes and without resentment because it simply must be done. I also want about half an hour by myself for a good cry and to remember all the good times. I don’t see this as weak but instead to give myself space to grieve.

Happy moms day to all who are moms. For those still lucky enough to have your moms, please treasure every moment and do a little something extra for them today. For those without, please do something extra special for yourself and give yourself time to walk down memory lane with them.


6 thoughts on “In Memory of Mom

  1. Very touching post. It is stories like this that make me appreciate my own mother even more. Only we alcoholics can see crying, or any form of letting our guard down (and what a guard we have) as weak. Cry, grieve, miss her like hell. Why do we deny ourselves these cleansing acts? Rock out to the 80’s (love it. I’m an 80’s music fan huge).

    Thank you for sharing your story – sad, but was filled with love and gratitude.

    Happy Mother’s Day 🙂


    • Paul…just started a great book called Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. All kinds of 80’s music references. Light enough to not be too overwhelming but not too fluffy either. Check it out! On my upper deck with a cup of coffee, the sun rising, the birds chirping and my book. Oh. And my phone so I stay connected. Ha ha. Hugs!!!

    • Thanks Paul! Check out the book Love is a Mix Tape. Reading it on my deck now while the sun is rising and the birds are chirping. Lots of awesome 80s music references! Just light enough to not be overwhelming but not fluffy. Enjoy! And hugs!!

  2. You said exactly what I’ve been thinking! Thank you. I lost my mom back in 2006 and, like you, we were extremely close ( I’m an only child). I miss her so much, but I now find small ways to honor her – part of that is being totally present for my family. I hope you have a wonderful day – and rock on!

  3. A beautiful and touching tribute. I lost my mom 2 years ago, and her memory and spirit have kept me sober many times over the past two years.

    I’m going to check out that book you mentioned to Paul. High Fidelity is another good one (book and movie!).

    Writing and planting some flowers today in honor of mom. I wish you a peaceful day too.

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