The words that follow are, selfishly, written for me. They aren’t original. In fact, you may have seen them before. They’re personal, penned during a life-altering moment and repeated annually about a special woman who died 40 years ago.
They appear today for two reasons. One is as a gesture of love to her and as a tribute to all mothers on this special day. The other is with hope they may evoke an important memory in your life or encourage you to pause and reflect about a person or a moment who or that has meant much to you.
Death came knocking at a nearby door the other day.
It was a Friday, minutes before 3 p.m. and a time I’ll never forget.
The feeling of sudden emptiness tore deeply at my insides, grinding away at my every thought and even though the silent, endless sleep had been expected for some time, the pain was still so very real.
Mom finally left us on that sunny day, bowing to a long, often agonizing, ordeal with cancer and the why of it all will always remain a mystery to me.
I died a little myself, I suppose, with each delayed breath, each muffled sigh over those final days as she courageously battled the odds with a furious will to live.
I knew it couldn’t last though, just as I knew there was nothing I could do to help.
And, yet, there was a beauty to it all, I think, for amid the tangle of needles, tubes, tape and wilting roses on a windowsill nearby, we became even closer than ever before, allowing me one more cherished memory of her life.
I think she would have liked that.
Mom wasn’t fancy, you see.
There were few frills or ruffles in her makeup.
She was not gifted with the eloquent speech of a polished politician. She did not have the education of a scholar. She did not possess great monetary wealth. And she was not a raving beauty, though she was a true example of beauty from within.
Still, she was special…not ordinary at all.
She managed to mix a bit of each of those characteristics with an unending love for her fellow man, doing the best she could at whatever the task.
She was just people, the good, old hard-working type who lived life with little pretense and who worked hard without even trying to make this world a better place. It is a memory that makes me proud.
After all, isn’t that what life is all about?
It isn’t the money you have or the prestige you wield. It isn’t who scores the most points or wins the most games.
Life is people…and friends…and doing the things that makes those friendships possible.
How unfortunate it is that we have to be reminded in such a seemingly cruel way, but how fortunate it is that we can be reminded.
So mom is gone for now, though the pleasantries of her life remain.
We’ll meet again some day I hope and I’ll be all the better for it because she’ll have more with which to share.
God bless you sweet lady…and thank you for the privilege of being your son.