After a long battle during which my mother became someone I no longer recognized, she passed on. When our loved ones die I know we’re supposed to be happy because they’ve gone to a better place. I know that’s true. But like a lot of such advice, it’s much easier to give than to take.
For my dad, mom was his partner, his friend, his wife, his everything for 63 years. I cannot begin to tell you how much he loved her nor how much he missed her.
The same goes for me.
But it was my dad who went to see her nearly every day those last years spending hours by her side. Much of the time, it wasn’t clear she even knew he was there. But that didn’t matter to him. He would see the old her in a glimpse of lucidity, in a single word, in a sad smile.
He would hold her hand, stroke her hair, talk to her lovingly, feed her when she could no longer feed herself. Maybe she wasn’t as she once was, but having a piece of her was enough for him. He was there for her.
I too went to see her. But each time it tore my heart out seeing her lying there no longer the vibrant mother I had known.
She was a good woman. An honest woman. A good mother; a good wife. She asked for so little, yet she gave so much.
My mother was green pepper steak for dinner. She was chicken soup when I was sick. She was the one who kept me busy eating cheerios one by one as an infant.
Mom was the one who took me to see “Ole’ Yeller” and never complained when she let me pick our seat, and I chose the front row. She was the one who once a week rode the train with me to guitar lessons we couldn’t afford. She was the one at the typewriter ’til all hours when I finished my term papers at the last possible minute.
She was the one who kept our house spotless, our clothes clean, our bellies full. She was the one who could always fix things when they were broken. The one who taught me that nothing should be wasted. You must save things which still have value for later or give them to others who have a use for them.
She taught me to love and obey God. She taught me that getting away with a lie is not the same thing as telling the truth. She taught me the values and morals so absent in much of today’s world.
She was my mom, and I miss her.
Disclaimer: Frank Wilem is an author, speaker, and all around funny and entertaining guy. On this blog, his stories are based on his real life experiences, often with a satirical twist.
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