As most of you know, my mom passed away last November. Getting through the first year after losing someone you love is always the hardest, especially on special occasions…the first Christmas without them, the first new year without them… It’s a year of milestones you’d rather not face.
For me, it’s been a day mixed with tears and smiles. Tears for what’s been lost and smiles for all the happy times we had. And of course I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my mom and what an amazing person she was.
I probably didn’t always think that about her. We were closer than two peas in a pod but we had our share of friction and arguing as well. There were times when I thought she might possibly be the most exasperating person on this earth (and I’m fairly certain she thought the same about me!). But, as much as we fought, we never held grudges and we never let it get in the way of being there for each other.
As time marches on, I find I don’t remember the arguing as much and remember more all the things that made our relationship special. And all the things that made my mom amazing. Some of you were lucky enough to know her personally. For those of you who weren’t, let me tell you a little about her.
My mom was born in Belgium and moved here to the States in the 60’s. By all accounts (I wasn’t there yet), she was a hot chick who wore miniskirts, a beehive and drove a navy blue convertible Mustang. She didn’t have kids of her own yet so she was the cool aunt in the family. By the time I rolled around though, she was just Mom to me.
She was a generous and patient mom. She was a little soft in the authority area but my dad was pretty strict so it all worked out. Once I got a little older, our favorite past-time was shopping on the weekends. We would go to the mall and shop ’til we dropped then we’d have to figure out a way to get everything in the house without my dad knowing. We finally came up with a system where I would stuff the bags into the hedges in front of my bedroom window and then I’d go in, open the window and bring them in. My dad never caught on to how we were doing it but he’d always ask about our new clothes.
As I got older and more independent, our ideas of how I should live my life began to differ and things got a little more tense. Eventually though, we just had to agree to disagree. One thing we absolutely had in common was our stubborn natures!
Along with being generous, kind and patient, my mom was strong. Her life wasn’t always an easy one but she made it her priority to take care of others regardless of what she was going through. When my dad got really sick with cancer, she took care of him right to the very end despite the fact that she was also battling health issues.
I think the most outstanding trait my mom possessed though was her never-ending creativity. She could paint, draw, sew, knit…if she could imagine it, she would find a way to create it. The picture above is just one of many she painted. If you ever wondered where I got my creative spark from, now you know (although my creations pale in comparison of hers).
I miss my mom terribly. In the years after my dad died, she and I spent every day together. There were times when I felt frustrated over so much togetherness but looking back now, I’d do it all over again in a heart beat. And the thing I’m most grateful for is that all that time spent together meant there was nothing left unsaid in the end.
So, as this day…my mom’s birthday…draws to a close, I hope you remember to keep your loved ones close to your heart and say all the things you want to say. Be grateful for the time you have with them and never take it for granted.
Until next time LiliBeaners…I love you all and am grateful for each and every one of you.