My mom: 9/19/04--I can't believe it has been five years
When I was in high school, my mother gave me a calling card number (yes this was quite a few years ago) so that if I ever needed her, she would always be a phone call away. I resisted, but of course I found myself needing that number for many years, in many different cities, countries, continent—to talk, to laugh, to cry, to complain. My mom always there for me. I memorized that number so that my fingers dialed it automatically—only if I thought about it too much would I forget the sequence. Of course, I’ve completely forgotten that number now—but even if people still used pay phones, it’s been five years since I’ve had that kind of certainty that someone is always there to listen, no matter what. Mom, you didn’t always (often?) agree with me, or understand my need to find things out for myself. We fought a lot when I was younger, but the last few years we had together were good years—I was less angry and you were less controlling. But I understand your need for control now. Life was a struggle for you. You felt you had to always put other people before you. You got your GED at sixteen to work to help support your family. Some of my earliest memories of you involve you cleaning the whole house, the yard, then going over and doing the same thing at my grandmother’s, then taking care of me, then my father. After the divorce, you worked full time and took care of me, my grandmother, and various pets that I had over the years. Mom, I wish you had taken more time to appreciate yourself and your other gifts. Sometimes it’s the little things when someone is gone that seem strange. Like I can’t believe that they still show Fred Astaire films on television, without my mom to see them. Or release a new Harry Potter or Sex in the City film (we both loved these particular franchises), or make perms for hard-to-wave hair. Today is a beautiful day, and I’m going to go out and enjoy it—just like my mom, I have to mow the lawn. However, because of her efforts, I have so many things—an education, some security, a stronger sense of self—that I wish she had enjoyed when she was my age.