It has been 11 years since my Mom passed away. In celebration of Mom’s everywhere, here’s a post remembering the woman who gave birth to and raised me. While I miss many things about my Mom, here are my top three.
- Her gift of voice. Kids now do not really understand how loud a mother’s voice can be. We had old school cell phones: Mom yelling throughout the neighborhood for you to come home for dinner. If you could not hear your Mom’s voice, then you must have left the neighborhood. There would be hell to pay when you finally showed up late. At the time my Mom died, she did not own a cell phone so there is no outgoing voicemail message I can call and listen to. And, quite frankly, even if she had, my Dad probably would have cancelled it by now anyway. He is pragmatic about paying a bill for something that is no longer necessary. I have old film and audio tapes that I am sure I could have converted so I could listen and watch. But, honestly, I am not sure how painful that would be.
- Her gift of possibility. My Mom told me that I could do and be anything I wanted. The oldest child of Italian immigrants, my Mom grew up in the depression. She lived through World War II while her parents ran a local grocery store. She raised her four children alone after her first marriage dissolved. She continued to raise the younger of the four and me, partially alone when my Dad was deployed with the US Army. Aside from the challenges she faced, she gave me unconditional love and raised me with good self esteem. I saw her attend junior college classes in her 50s. I saw her stand by her man through his struggle with alcoholism, his eventual win and conversion to Catholicism. Anything is possible.
- Her gift of faith. My mother had a good life, but she also had a realistic life. Ups and downs were simply part of it. She handled them well whether that meant private anguish or public gracefulness.
Other than literally hearing my Mom’s voice, the two things that I miss the most have never really left me. She instilled in me the gift of possibility and faith. Perhaps that is why she used to remind me: “With God, all things are possible.”
For those of you who still have your Mom around, give her an extra hug for those of us who are now motherless. And thank her again for all that she has done for you. You never really understand that until you become a Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!