It has been 11 years to the day since my mother passed away. The pain of losing her has dulled over the years, but I still find myself in tears sometimes, thinking of how much I miss her. Lately, I've been thinking about her more than I have in a long time. I'm not crying as much as when she first died, of course, but I am missing her like it just happened yesterday.
I have been trying to figure out why I've been thinking about her so much lately. Is it my own growing family? Or maybe it's the stress of my life that I ache for her to calm? Maybe my hormones are to blame. I know it could be a little of all of these things. But last night, as I lay in my bed crying tears in to my pillow, I thought long and hard about my mom. And I realized that I've been missing her so much because I feel like I've forgotten her.
When I first started thinking about it, I felt like I couldn't recall anything specific about her anymore. How did she sound? What did she smell like? But the longer I thought, the easier memories of her became. It isn't that I've forgotten, it's just that, out of necessity, I've pushed them to the back of my mind. I can't describe exactly how much my mom meant to me, but I can tell you that if I remembered her so vividly every day, my eyes would never be dry. Her absence is a hole in my soul. I miss her dearly.
I miss the woman who could solve any of my problems with a hug and a stroke of my hair. She taught me how to spell (by needing things spelled for her all the time) and how to balance a checkbook (by making me balance hers). She was strong, street smart, and kind. I can't recall her without a smile on her face. She laughed in the face of temper tantrums and commanded respect without hardly ever raising her voice. No matter how sick she got--how the lupus warped her skin in to a patchwork of red blotches--she was always the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. She had an enormous heart, and for me, love radiated whenever she was in my vicinity. Smart, honest, beautiful--my mother epitomized them all.
There is a way to hug my whole family at once, to make us recall the glue that once cemented our family together, and all it takes is a single word. Jackie.
I miss you, Mom. I hope you're resting peacefully, and I hope you can feel the love we all still hold in our hearts for you.