A MOTHER'S DAY



I wonder what her thoughts are holding this sweet little boy, the baby she almost missed. If I could guess, I'd say her serious look reflects that very thought as several weeks prior to this captured moment, she fought like a warrior at the young age of 54 through a massive heart attack. None of us could have imagined that she would be sitting in my living room holding my new nephew, Tyler, the strap of her Halter monitor the only outward evidence of the recent battle. That was the end of June, 1990.

I don't remember THAT day as vividly, as painfully, as I remember Saturday, November 3, 1990, barely four months later. On that day it was warm for November-Indian Summer type of day begun with picking bittersweet vines down behind the park in front of our house. I had promised to gather some for Mom the day before while having a Mother-daughter day of shopping at JoAnn's for Christmas fabric to make stockings and other items. We had lunch at a place called Pie Plate and had an amazing heart to heart conversation about EVERYTHING. Some old issues were resolved and for the first time, at age 36, I was able to tell her things that had been heavy on my heart for a very long time. It was a healing time and the most wonderful day ever spent with her. After the gathering of vines I decided to do some baking to put in the freezer for Thanksgiving. Seven layer bars to be exact. When they came out of the oven the first call came. Mom was missing. She was to have already been home from a half day of work and no one had heard from her. A few calls were made in frantic mode. Nothing. Dropping everything I got in the car and raced 20 minutes to the plaza where she worked. Everything from that moment on was in surreal, slow motion. The police, and yellow tape...my brother two years younger than I, and my Dad. A gathering crowd. Strangers witnessing the heartbreak of a son finding his mother, MY mother, OUR mother, two months into her 55th year, on the floor behind the counter of the closed shop....gone. Strangers watching as an officer walks to the side of my car and tells me, the oldest child of six, that my mother is gone, probably a heart attack. Gone forever. Strangers witnessing my meltdown and sudden inability to put the car in the proper gear to move it out of the way of the official car that had come to take her away.

That day is still vivid and surreal. But what I held on to that day, and all these years since, is the magnificent gift of the last day of her life this time around. The special day together that Mom pushed hard to get arranged and just in the nick of time. Time to share laughter and tears. Precious hours that I hold close to my heart always. That day was the last I held my mother, told her I loved her, and smiled at her as she stood waving goodbye in the driveway as I pulled away.

11 comments:

Lisa Gallup said...

Oh, sweetie! Thank you for sharing your story! Today is so bittersweet for me, too. A few months before my mom died, I had a conversation with her where I felt like I really related to her - woman to woman - mom to mom - and it was WONDERFUL. I cried for the lost years and the wish that it could have always been this way. I cried because it took CANCER to bring us closer together. In going through my mom's things I have found so many parts of her life that I knew nothing about and that have just made me love her so much. It has made me VOW to let my daughter KNOW me as a human being (if she wil let me). Sending you HUGE hugs today!!

Rella said...

Thank you, Lisa. I am so sorry we share the same sorrow, the identical void. Nothing ever fills the space left in your heart when you suddenly become "mother-less". No one prepares you for the million times you go to pick up the phone to call her about something, stopping short and feeling the pain all over again. Nothing. Hugs to you, also, daughter to daughter. Rella

zUzU said...

Oh Rella :-^..^-:
My eyes are tear filled
and I don't know what to say.

My mom isn't well and I can feel every word you have written. I have nearly disapeared from blogs and well, really the outside world lately because ... Because for reasons that make me understand your post so deeply.

Dear sweet, Rella. You see that the day you had with your mother was all for a reason. Somethings are special and we can hold them forever in our hearts & minds eye.

You are one of those special people that has the ability to awaken things in others.

I feel so fortunate to be able to call you my friend.
=^..^= love & miss you, zU

miss*R said...

(((hugs))) - sending ALL my love on angels wings, to you, sweet Rella xoxo

Kahshe Cottager said...

Reflections on past moments with our mothers who are still with us in spirit seem to come to the fore on this special day. How lucky for those of us who can shed a tear and still smile at the same time with our memories.

Beth said...

What a wonderful story...a tribute to your mother and how blessed you were to have her and
how special after all these years, that you can share with all of us your memories of her.

Maija said...

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. I'wish you peace dear Rella!

kathywas said...

Oh Rella, what a lovely post. I can only imagine the pain that you most feel every Mother's Day. I'm sure that I will be experiencing the same when Father's Day hits in a few more weeks, since this will be the first Father's Day without him since his death in late January.

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely story with us.

Dianne said...

What a beautiful and sad story, I share losing my Mom and am glad I got to have the same talk with my Mom.. It was great of you to share your story...

Melinda said...

so bittersweet but beautifully told!

Judy Wise said...

I'm so sad after reading this post. Your mother was too young and so were you. She is lovely - she looks like someone I'd like to talk to. I am sorry she is gone. Your telling of her story is beautiful.