My mother passed away today.
It wasn't unexpected, and she was ready. Her last couple years had been difficult for her. She could no longer enjoy the special things in her life. She couldn't work in her garden. Her friends were pretty much gone. And she couldn't recognize a lot of her family. It was heartbreaking to see her slide away.
Now we get to remember all that made her so special. Why she was so loved. Everyone that new this lady thought the world of her. Now she's telling jokes to God.
As far as moms go, I don't think I could have had a better one. I know I couldn't have. She was always there for us. Her love knew no limits.
I could always talk to her about anything. Even though she never finished high school, her knowledge of life was boundless. She always had an answer for my problems.
Looking back at life, she was always there. Her kids were the most important thing in her life. Grandkids, and Great-grandkids, they made all that much better. These were what was important to her. Once, when it was our turn to do Thanksgiving for the whole family, and barely holding it together, I ask her how she was able to do it and keep smiling. She said those times were the best in her life.
Her and dad never had a lot of material things, but had the love of family and friends that cannot be bought. They had a hard, but full life. They enjoyed what they had and were happy for it. Such wonderful people.
As a kid, she was a strict disciplinarian. I remember many times trying to outrun her switch, or yardstick. And if I was mad and would slam the door leaving the house, I got to come back and softly close it a dozen times.
She instilled self sufficiency. By the time I left home, I could wash and iron my own clothes, cook, and sew. I suppose I knew how to make a bed, and put my clothes away, but never did it. I remember one time I was staying with an aunt and uncle in Portland, and needed a shirt ironed. I ask Aunt Rose if she could do it for me. No way, she got our the iron and ironing board and told me she knew I knew how to iron.
As a cook in the grade school, all the kids loved her, and to her they were an extension to her family. She knew them all by name, and would make special treats.
Like everyone who loses a parent, I am missing her so much. And will continue to miss her, but will remember all those wonderful times with her, and how much she filled my life. She not only gave me life, but was a large part of keeping it full. A friend told me when he lost his mother, it was like have a hole ripped in your heart that you know will always be there.
So, with tears running down my cheeks, I want to say "Mom, I love you, and please keep watching over us."
The world is a little more empty today.