September 21st. Another day on the way to autumn. Sometimes it’s hot and sunny, sometimes cool and breezy. Today, this September 21st, cold, rainy and windy. It suits my mood.
My mother passed away on this date, 14 years ago. That September 21st was a Friday. It was hot, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. I remember looking at the funeral director’s van as he pulled away from the nursing home with her body in the back of it. I wanted to run after him and tell him he was wrong. She couldn’t be dead. Not my mom.
Mom was 76. She died of lung cancer. She’d started smoking in college with all her other friends. It was something she never gave up. She always said the cigarettes would kill her, and they did. It was a hard illness to watch as it slowly destroyed her. We all make our choices and decisions about what we do. Her choice killed her in the end.
Mom was a school teacher. She taught elementary school for more than three decades. She was a much loved teacher and mentor to many. I was never enrolled at schools she taught at, but knew many people that had been her students.
Mom was always happy. I never saw her angry, or sad. She had a great sense of humor and she and her two older sisters were hysterical when you had them all in a room together. I can still see her smile and hear her laugh. I can see the joy in her brown eyes.
She missed my kids grow up and everything they each have gone through. She missed celebrations and hardships. She will miss watching as Dawson continues to heal from his car accident. She will miss Rachel graduating with her Master’s Degree and miss her wedding as well.
Mom always helped me with homework when I was growing up. We also had fun going school shopping, stopping for ice cream at City Dairy and visiting the neighbor’s who had a pool! Family vacations and grilling out on the weekends are fond memories. Going to my brother’s little league games and watching the Tigers on tv are things I recall too.
Mom always had good advice. Did I always listen, of course not. Did she turn out to be right about things anyway? Most of the time, yes she did! She was always there for me and I knew she loved me very much.
The past few years have presented situations that have been nearly unbearable and I’ve needed her so many times. Living without your mom can be really tough. I keep her photos around the house and I have many of her things to keep her close. I talk to her of course, as I think many of us do, to loved ones who have left us.
There are hard days during the year that remind us of those who left too soon, who meant so much. Their birthdays, holidays, the day they left. On my birthday, I always wish she could be there and feel her absence. I like to think that she is able to see us here and knows of all that we experience. I hope she knows how much she is missed and loved.
If you have a mom that you love, tell her. a LOT! Hug her when you have the opportunity. Take her to lunch, send her flowers, spend time and live in the moments. I know how busy life is. I also know how lonely it is when mom isn’t there to share the moments with.
I miss you mom. I hate this day every year.
I miss you too dad! You didn’t have to leave 7 months after she did!
Love your parents, they love you.