As I start writing this, what I hope Asp will permit as a guest entry to her blog, it is still late September. However, if all goes as planned, today it’s my turn for a melancholy Monday.
My mother died May 11, 1980 (Mother’s Day if you’re not paying attention) at the age of 43 years and 91 days. We had gotten her flowers and Mother’s Day cards that were never to be received. I remember asking my Dad if he thought the store would refund our money. I was 17 and a senior in high school. Two weeks before my senior prom. Today, December 5, 2005, I have been alive for, you guessed it, 43 years and 91 days. What I’d like to do is share my thoughts – which have been coming in waves since the realization came upon me.
Mom was really, really young when she died. It didn’t seem that way then – but it sure does now.
Now that I have a son, I cannot imagine how much she must have fought the illness that took her life. I believe even though she was in a coma the last time I saw her, she knew I was leaving her, and she me, for the final time.
I can easily see that if something were to occur to me before I had the opportunity to do my best to be a good father for my son, I would feel like I had let him down. Even if it were beyond my control, I’d still feel like I’d left him and his mother down. I’d like to think Mom did a good job in the short time she had. But I bet if you’d ask her, she’d change a few things about me.
I wonder if she’d be proud of me.
One of my most prized possessions is a picture of Mom and me on my fifth or sixth birthday. You can tell from the look in her eye I was “Mommy’s Boy”. She protected me all along from all sorts of hazards, especially big brothers– perhaps too much. More insight can be gained by listening to Pink Floyd’s “Mother”.
Someday, sometime, I’m going to have to try and explain all of this to my son. He brought me the aforementioned picture the other day and asked, with all the innocence he has, “Who dat?” I could see his confusion looking at the young boy and being told “That’s Daddy”, hoping he wouldn’t ask any more….but of course, he did. When I told him that was Daddy’s mommy, his look of confusion became more pronounced. Someday when I say “That’s Daddy’s Mommy”, he’s going to ask “Where is she?” Will he understand why I cry?
Most of what I am today is a result of my mom. And perhaps even more a result of her death. I think I became pretty good at judging what is important in the world, and what is noise. Most of it is noise.
How does one wait for heaven?
What do I do, if I make it past December 5, 2005, to honor her in a meaningful way with the life I’ve been granted that she didn’t get?
I’m open to suggestions.