With Mother’s Day just a couple of days away, it feels apropos to pay my mother a tribute. She’s been gone for over a decade now, but it seems like just yesterday I was sitting next to her at one of my daughter’s soccer games, enjoying her sense of humor and grace. Sadly for me, I didn’t fully appreciate my mom until I had my own daughter. It took becoming a parent to understand just how much my mother loved me.
Looking back, my brothers and my sister and I were fantastically lucky. Mom took such good care of us. She always made sure we dressed well, ate right, brushed our teeth and did our homework. And some of the best memories are the family traditions she started. Friday night pizza, attending the Sunday folk mass, Easter leg of lamb, and donuts and cider on Halloween were just a few.
She taxied us all over the county for our activities, in my case mostly for swimming. It’s the kind of stuff you just take for granted as a teenager, not really understanding that not only is she driving you to all the practices, but also paying for you to be on the team. And all because she wants YOU to be happy. Thanks Mom!
Eleven years and two weeks ago, we lost mom to diabetes. She was only sixty six. That dreaded disease robbed her of her golden years and we were all cheated. Years later, a friend upon learning of my mother’s passing declared, “But your mom was June Cleaver!”. Sadly, many of her grandchildren were born after she left us. They don’t know how unlucky they are to have missed out on knowing her. Although, one of my nieces remembers my mother holding her just before she was born. How cool is that!
I wrote the following in the days after her passing, and had the priest read it at her funeral. I was too broken up to read it myself:
The thing I remember most about Mom is her infectious laugh. When Mom laughed, we all laughed. After extended laughter, she would give this amazing sigh using her whole body. If you were the one who extracted the sigh, it was true fulfillment as a comedian, better than an Emmy award could ever be.
It’s the little things I remember about Mom the most. The afternoons feeding the ducks with our McDonald’s french fries after a half day of school, the incredibly safe feeling when you were home sick from school and Mom was there to take care of you. The countless times she brought my lunch to school when I forgot it. The fun we had planning birthday parties together.
Mom was a true Christian. She took the time to go to the Stations of the Cross, to make food for SOME – So Others Might Eat, and she made sure we got to church every Sunday no matter where we were.
How can you thank someone who spent upwards of 2500 hours driving you around to swimming practices and meets? The hours in Dr. Fink’s office, with the mumps, measles, chicken pox, and a myriad of other ailments and diseases? There’s just some things only your Mom can do for you.
Ooops, some of the grammar is bad, but keep in mind, I was only thirty eight at the
Mom, I didn’t say it enough when you were alive, but I love you. And all I can do now is try and take care of my own kids as well as you took care of us.