“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” – Jodi Picoult
My mom was just that, soft and nurturing, yet small and oh so mighty. We went toe-to-toe in my childhood and adolescence – my strong will matched so completely by her inner strength; a power that I suspect she never quite fully realized. It’s what I channel to this day as a mother of my own mini me.
To grow old and be like her would be an honor.
My mother lived what unconditional love looks like; she was forever my number one champion and the evening she quietly slipped to the other side marks a most striking contrast; a before-and-after moment in my life, unparalleled by nothing other than the birth of my own child. The stories I could share to make this clear are endless. My mother knew me in ways I am still yet realizing. She saw me in a way I can’t even quite yet, standing here in the middle point of my life. She accepted me despite my many attempts to push her back, because I always needed one more test to know that she really and truly was always going to love me.
She always passed.
Today marks the day she left our world, sixteen years ago. There will come a day, when I will know more years without her than I do with her, but thankfully we are not there yet. Even if so, her essence, her spirit really, is etched deep within; she is part of me. If life is aligned as it should be, we do not forget our mothers, and I think that we never stop needing them. At least I don’t, and in fact, the older I get, the more I realize just how much I need her. I wasn’t yet a mother myself when she passed on, and it’s my deepest sadness that we didn’t get to share this profound part of our lives.
Anticipating this milestone, I have been thinking of her more than usual, if that’s possible. Not too long ago, I unearthed a box of old journals – a Pandora’s box of memory and emotion.
In the box, I found – among so much else – something I wrote in October of 1995, while taking a creative writing class. It reveals, and reminds me of an exquisite part of her character, her everyday presence. That look between us in our photo above. Her gift of constancy; I always knew I was at the top of mind for her. What I wrote 19 yrs ago – which turned out to be exactly two years before we started to say our goodbyes, my memorial to a most gracious soul – is really my post for today.
Here’s to you mom,
you are missed
in every way,
in my every day.