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Mom -- 01/16/03

My mother passed away three years ago this day while living in a nursing home.

I loved my mother and I have many memories of her from the time I was a small child playing around our home. She had three boys to take care of of which I was the youngest. She loved and adored my father and she was the typical housewife of the 1950's.

My Mom used to take me shopping with her and she would sing nursery rhymes to me in my early years. When my daughter was born, I found myself singing the same tunes I had learned decades before under my mother's teachings.

After my Dad passed away, she went back to work and juggled the duties of working and taking care of her three sons for many years. She later remarried and my sister was born to round out the number of children in the house.

My mother and I got along fairly well until my late teens. The stress of my being the third teenage boy to raise during the 1960's must have been intense for her. I know she loved me and was only looking out for my best interests (from her point of view), but I wanted my own independence as I approached my adulthood. I'm not sure whether my Mom ever understood me or whether she understood me better than I understood myself back then.

In any case, she was always there to listen to me and we learned to overcome the things that were irritants between us. I was in my mid-thirties before she and I took the time to understand our real differences of perspectives between us. After that time, we got along much better.

In the last seven years of her life, we grew even closer together. After I had moved away to San Diego, I would call and talk to her about what I was doing. I made video tapes of San Diego so she could see what was going on out here.

When she entered the nursing home due to failing health, she appreciated the letters, phone calls, and trips I took to visit her. I always made it a point to tell her I loved her and thanking her for being my mother and taking care of me in my youth. I fed her and took her outside during my visits. Often I just held her hand and smiled to pass the time between us.

My mother died in her sleep. She had lived a very full life and she lived most of it the way she wanted to live it. She was very much respected by her friends and family as a woman who worked very hard to give her children a good life.

She is buried not far from the graves of my Dad and her first-born son, Charles. Relatives still go to the cemetery and leave flowers on their graves.

Sometimes I sense her Spirit, but not as much as I feel my Dad's. I know I'll see them all when I cross over to the other side myself someday. I guess right after I see God, my Mom will be there to admonish me for the questions I had of Him, my Dad will be there to set the proper tone going forward, and Charlie will be standing back laughing at me once again.

Thanks Mom, for being my mother.

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