It’s Mother’s Day.
I miss my mom.
Not a day goes by that this thought doesn’t cross my mind.
The thought isn’t as crippling as it used to be. In the first year of her being gone, the very thought would bring instantaneous tears. There were many moments of covering my face in the stall while crying in the bathroom at work or school, at the alter, or in my car. There were six months straight of crying myself to sleep each night. The crying jags would last from a couple minutes to 15 minutes. I hated it. I despise crying, but that first year there were many uncontrollable breakdowns that drove me into hiding in the middle of the day. The weirdest were the bouts of straight anger or crazy laughing fits. I really felt like a nut that first year. I had very understanding friends.
Grief is a weird and humbling thing.
Going into year three of her being gone, the weird emotional breakdowns really don’t happen that often. I have small moments of when I cry, but they pass swiftly. Seeing all the ads and signs for mother’s day no longer brings me to tears. Instead, I smile and am grateful for the time I had with her. I am thankful for the other mothers who have taken her place and who I can go to just to have that mom chat.
I miss my mom.
I genuinely wish she were here to so I could tell her about all the great things going on in my life.
The biggest thing I want to tell my mom about is the spur of the moment roller coaster road trip I’m taking with a friend at the end of the July. She wouldn’t be surprised, as she was well aware of my adventurous, spontaneous nature. She’d love that I would be spending two weeks traveling through the midwest and seeing family. She would be relieved that I was going with someone else finally, instead of alone, as I always prefer solo adventures. It’s kind of a good thing for my friend’s sake that she is no longer here, as the grilling and questioning from my mother would be pretty intense.
“Who are you? What do you do? Where did you meet my kid? Why do you want to go on this trip? Do you have a criminal record? Are you running from the law? Have you done drugs? Do you do drugs? Do you own a gun? Does my daughter need to carry a gun in your presence? Are you a child of God? Do you fear God? Do you fear me…because you should.“
My mom was one of the kindest, fun loving, people I knew. Oh man, how she loved. She loved to smile and her laugh was loud and infectious. She always put others first and was warm and open to everyone she met. God was her center and she made sure that everyone could see it in the way she lived. Anyone who has ever met her would tell you that she was a blast to be around.
But, when it came to her children, she had that crazy switch, and could become as dangerous as a rabid mother bear. My mom was 6’1, curvy and would use her eyes, voice and size to put the fear of God in anyone who wanted anything to do with her children. Still in the end, when she felt that I was safe, she would soften and would be happy that I wasn’t going alone.
I am so excited to go, and I wish I could share every single detail about the trip with her. She’d be super excited with me. She’d help me shop for everything and plan, as she loved to plan things. She check and recheck my suitcases to a) make sure I actually had functioning suitcases and b) to make sure I did not forget anything major. She’d map out the trip for me, asking me to stop at certain spots to grab a souvenir. She usually asked for fabric as she loved to sew and loved getting fabrics from different places. She’d demand that I take pictures and send them to her daily.
If she were still here, she’d call me everyday about random facts about the cities I plan to visit. Some facts would be really interesting, like where to get good food or different monuments I should visit. However, most of them would be random dangerous statistics about that city/state/town. For some reason, this was one of her favorite things to do. When I moved to Fresno for grad school, my mom emailed the crime reports for the city every day. It was really amusing and she was infuriated that I was not phased by the news reports at all. My mom was overly cautious, and she always wanted me to be prepared for anything. Any possible situation could turn into a catastrophe. She would always
create find the weirdest scenarios.
If she were still here, this is how one of our phone calls would go:
Me: Hey Mom, how’s it going?
Mom: Good Sweetie. I read the strangest thing on USA Today about San Antonio…
Me: Oh okay. What did you read?
Mom: Did you know that San Antonio is being invaded by jumping tarantulas? They are known to jump about three feet high. That’s past your waist.
Me: Mom, are you reading The Onion again? Where do you find these things?
Mom: No, I said USA Today. I know you don’t like spiders, Sweetie. I just don’t want you to run out in front of a car break your legs, and end up in a body cast because you got hit in the waist by a jumping tarantula.
Me: (Giggling) That’s highly unlikely. I’ll be fine, Mom. I will be sure and watch out for any large jumping spiders.
Mom: You laugh, but I just want you to be ready for anything. You’re always off in your own world…just want you to be safe.
Me: I know Mom. I have to go. Love you!
Mom: Remember the spiders! Love you too.
My mom always meant well. As a kid, I gave her many reasons to be cautious. My mom would wake up several nights during the week to find me out of my bed and walking around my neighborhood. “I needed to think,” I’d tell her as she practically pulled her hair out with worry. Not to mention, there were many phone calls about me being stuck in trees (we got to know the Roswell Fire Department pretty well),flying off my bike, eating random things in our medicine cabinet, falling through ice, slicing open my arm after putting it through a window, walking to the ER at 4am or jumping off the roof. I was an adventurous and imaginative kid and my poor sense of danger drove my mom insane.
I refused to watch the news or stay up to date with current events, choosing to gather information about the world and my surroundings by just diving into everything. My mother hoped and prayed that these traits would eventually die out as I got older and became an adult, but with added independence they were more enhanced. I got daily “Dear God I hope you are still alive” phone calls…until she was unable to call anymore.
I miss those phone calls.
I know the day of the trip as I wait for the plane, I’ll instinctively pick up my phone to call her to let her know when I am getting on my flight. It’s been almost three years, and every time I fly from Arizona to California, I still grab my phone to call her just so I can tell her that I am okay…and then remember that she’s gone.
Mom, this post is to let you know that I am fine. I am really happy. Life is good. There has been ups and downs but overall…life is good. I’ve got great friends that are practically family, a good church, a good job and a stable home. I’m still that adventurous, head- in- the-clouds-kid. I still walk late at night. I still get lost and go on adventures. I don’t dive into things head first as much as I used to, and I am a bit more grounded.
I wish you were still here. Watching you leave this world was one of the hardest moments of my life and I thought I’d never recover.
At times it is still pretty hard, but I am fine.
Thank you for always letting me be me,
I love you and I miss you everyday…