I was sitting with my husband tonight and we were talking about what it was like to be newly married and all the things we have learned along the way. Oddly, we were talking about the size crock pot we had and how we should have bought a bigger one when we were first married. Then I said, "Yeah, one of those kinds of questions I could've asked my mom...I wish she was still here..."
This statement set off a kind of domino effect of memories, connecting me to her again. Causing me to think about the questions I've had through the years that I would have asked her, drawing out long forgotten memories I had experienced with her.
I think about all the things that that woman, who was my mother, has missed since she went away.
One memory comes to mind on one particular day, it takes me to David's Bridal where I was picking out my wedding dress. I was in the store by myself, trying dresses on, one by one the attendant brought out each dress for me to put on...I was happy in the moment, happy that I had found love and someone to share my life with yet I was sad because my mom wasn't there offering me her opinions; I was full of joy because of the prospect of matrimony and how I wasn't going to be alone, yet I felt hollow at the fact that there was an empty chair where she was suppose to be. She wasn't there to help me pick out the most important dress I was to wear in my life.
She was there countless times before in high school where we would choose dresses for proms and pageants, times that were fun, but times I foolishly took for granted.
Pictures of my mom flash in my minds eye, as I vaguely remember what it was like to feel her presences in my life as a young girl barely 15 years old. A time in my own developing girlhood when I started to realize what an amazing person my mom really was.
A time when I started to notice how the hardships of life affected her, yet she still managed to dance with me in the Kitchen to Aha's "Take On Me" after school.
A time when I realized she worked so hard at dead-end jobs where she was over qualified and under paid yet still found the time to make it to track meets where she would cheer me on even if I was the last person to finish.
A time when I started to realize that she was physically and mentally exhausted, yet still managed to smile at me and give me a big "Beth" hug and ask me how my day was.
A time where I as a teenager acted out because of some superficial offense and how I took it out on her, yet she still managed to say she loved me and forgave me for my teenage immaturity ...
A time where I saw with crystal clear clarity that she was the best mom in the whole world, my only mom...
Then in the wee small hours of the night the phone rang, my dad answered it. He told me to get my sister up and get dressed. We traveled to a hospital, where the doctor took us to a little dim lighted room and told us that she didn't survive the car accident she had been involved in, that she was gone. She was gone.
You know, there is an intense loneliness you experience when you loose the person who birthed you, nursed you and nurtured you.
Even amidst the crowded blessings of a home such as mine there are still hints of loneliness in knowing that that one person who was your advocate, who was your flesh and blood, who was your one and only mom, is no longer residing on this earth.
These questions that lead to remembering my mom happen very rarely and are a kind of wake up call to the fact that time makes memories distant. These moments revive that person's existence to life again in a cognitive way. The memories I have of her are alive and vivid, even if for just a few fleeting moments. They touch the emotions and stir them. The reality of my mom's absence is so profoundly realized. Yet the sweetness of her memory is regained into consciousness. It leads me on this rabbit trail of memories and emotions.
I sit here and I quietly try to capture them.
I day dream about what it would be like to pick up the phone and call her, to hear her voice on the other end. What would it be like to pick her brain? It's like I'm carrying on a a perpetual one-sided conversation that never ends...
Motherhood also, has deeply connected me to my mom. As I'm in the day to day trenches, I can't count how many times I think about what it must have been like for her as she was going through this journey.
How would she advise me now? What would it be like to hear her tell me about things she experienced as I try to raise my kids? Would she agree with how I'm raising them?
The true reality of my life is that my mother is gone. I choose to not get bitter about it because I know there is purpose and plan to be carried out by a God who loves me. If there hadn't been the death of my mom, would I have learned to love the Lord the way that I do now? If that was the purpose, then I'll pursue that till the end of my own life. I don't mourn as others, I live in hope, in the hope that when my journey comes to an end, me and my mom's paths will cross again, and hey, maybe I'll be able to get one more "Beth" hug.