While my mother was battling her cancer, she somehow found a way to put enjoyment into my life. She never made her illness the object of attention and for her it was very important that I was always smiling and having fun.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my mom and while obviously there is never enough time, I’m glad I got the chance to know her. My mom didn’t have a job, so she got to hang out with me a lot. At the time I was either too young for school or would only go for half a day. This all gave me time to learn about my mom’s beauty.
Now, as a teenager/young adult I am able to remember my mom’s favorite SpongeBob character and the fact that she loved being outside in the garden. But, then there are times when I’m upset that I lost my mom so young and I fixate on all the things I can’t remember about her.
Many of you out there must feel the same way, because there are some things in this world that are so small that our minds can not hold on to those memories.
I think to myself now, that if someone personally close to me calls me on the phone, even without caller ID, I would most likely be able to recognize his or her voice. I can describe every one of my friend’s voices easily — if they are raspy, low or high, quiet or loud. I can recognize and remember them all. But, I can’t remember my mom’s voice. I can’t remember if it was soft like she was speaking to a young child or hard from her years of suffering. I can’t remember if she spoke fast or slow, or if she had a certain, very slight accent when she spoke. Foe all the things my mom did once tell me, I can’t remember the sound of her saying them.
her last words to me
When my mom died, it was a surprise to me. I knew she was sick, I knew that most of my time with her was spent in a hospital, but I never imagined that losing her forever was possible. The trips to the hospital were normal; we would sit around and talk as a family, eat dinner in the hospital cafeteria, take a walk outside, tell my mom we loved her, and leave. That was it, the normal routine.
The thing with routines is that when they do become routine, all the days blend together, which is why I can’t remember the last time I saw my mom. I can’t remember what I was wearing, what we talked about, or the last words she had said to me, because I never thought to keep them in my brain. I’m sure she told me that she loved me and that she cares about me. I’m sure of it. On those days when I’m remembering her and I think back to the last words she said to me, I become angry at myself for not remembering them.
her favorite flower
Now, of course most people would not expect me to remember such a small detail, or they would think that it wouldn’t change the way I thought about my mom, but it does. My mom was the type of person who glowed while her hands were in the dirt, or just as soon as she walked into a garden. She loved flowers. I remember one day, we were at our house looking out at the garden and she asked me what my favorite flower was. I replied “tulips” because they reminded me most of spring, which always made my mom happy. She told me, afterwards that my grandmother’s favorite flowers had been tulips also. I remember that feeling, like I was able to connect to my grandmother in a way, even though she passed when I was a baby. Now, though, that feeling is tarnished, because I never asked her. I never asked her what her favorite flower had been. Though, maybe I had asked her and maybe she had told me, but now looking back on it, I can’t remember.