I miss my Mom.
On this day, two years ago, she lost her battle with cancer. She fought for eight long years. The realization that she is gone is still incomprehensible to me. I thought she would be with us for a long time. I never thought she would leave us so soon, especially at the young age of 64. I miss hearing about her bingo winnings. I always told her she could make it a career, because she always seemed to come home with money. I miss calling her up to discuss the wardrobe choice of Linda Kohlmeyer (lottery lady on WGN) and her inspirational messages when drawing the balls. She made us laugh.
When she was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma, I never had a doubt in my mind that my Mom was going to beat it. She was the strongest person I knew and something like, cancer, wasn’t going to stop her. Little did I know that her struggles were going to be unimaginable. One person should not have had to deal with everything my Mother faced.
It was Easter morning when we had to say goodbye. We were all there by her bedside, her four daughters and her husband of 43 years. How does one even begin to say goodbye to their Mom? As we stared at the monitor, watching her oxygen levels slowly decrease, the idea of not having my Mom in my life began to terrify me. She was not going to bounce back and beat the odds, like she had done so many times before. It was the most helpless feeling I have ever felt. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing anyone could do. We just had to sit and watch our mother slowly leave us.
When I returned home, my husband and the kids were sleeping. I’m sure the kids were dreaming about all the goodies the Easter Bunny had left them. I didn’t even know how I was going to tell them that Grandma was gone. I couldn’t even believe it myself.
Two weeks before Easter, my Mom was sad thinking that she would not be able to see her 11th grandchild, who was due in June. Her eyesight began to fail as a result of the cancer, maybe even the medication. I had to remind her that she would still be able to hold the baby, kiss and hug the baby. I just wanted her to remain strong. I wanted her to make sure she kept eating and drinking water. I wanted her to keep fighting. I never thought she would not get the chance to meet her granddaughter. They would have loved to dance together. They would have had fun seeing who could be the most stubborn, or should I say strong-willed. They would have loved each other so much!
It wasn’t until my sisters and I were planning our Mother’s service, that I realized I did not have one picture of me (as an adult) with my mother. There were a few of me as a child and some of the whole family, but none of just me and my Mom. How could this have happened? I take pictures all the time. But that was the problem, I was always too busy behind the camera to take the time to get in front of it. How I wish I would have taken the time. I wish I had those pictures.
After realizing that I had no pictures of me and my Mom, I started understanding the importance of being in the pictures with my children. My husband would constantly try to take the camera from me, but I was more focused on getting the perfect picture of the kids, that I didn’t care to be in the picture. It has taken two years since the death of my Mother, to actually make the effort of being in a picture. Maybe it was preparing to write this blog post that made me take the first steps in preserving some memories with my children. I plan on making it a point to be in a picture with the kids, even if it’s only one, at every place we go and event we attend. Yesterday, I asked a friend to take this picture of me and the kids at the Morton Arboretum. It wasn’t difficult at all, quite painless actually.
I wish I could share my photography with my Mom. She was always my biggest fan. I know she would be proud of me and what I have accomplished and what I hope to accomplish in the future. I know she is with me, always. But just to hear her voice and her words of encouragement, it is something I thought I would have for so many years to come. My logo is just one way that I am reminded of her love and presence in my life.
I miss my Mom.