April 20, 2008. The day my mother died. It's hard to believe it's been four years. But in some ways it seems forever. I miss her terribly.
When I think back on it, I could simply do no wrong in my mother's eyes. I can remember bringing home less than glowing report cards and my mother would say "C is average. I'm happy with that". On one occasion, after my divorce, when I was dating Michael, we wanted to go away for an out of town weekend. My dad sat in his recliner for three evenings in a row with his 20 pound Masonic bible opened up on his lap, looking at me in disapproval. Then he just suddenly seemed to have a change of heart. My mother told me she had reminded him how when they first met they would sneak off to be together any time and any place they could. My mother always defended me to my father who was, and still is, much more critical of me.
My mother thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world. She even got joy out of writing my name. She thought it was so pretty. I remember how she would sneak me a ten dollar bill at the start of the weekend. In those days, that was enough to buy gas and still have some money leftover to throw in on a pizza. My mother didn't want me to do without anything.
I can remember a handful of times when my mom got upset with me. Pretty much exclusively over boys. Boys who did me wrong, but I wouldn't walk away. Putting myself in dangerous situations by sneaking off with boys I had no business being around. I'm sure I gave my mother and my dad, more than one sleepless night. For that, I am genuinely sorry.
When I lost my mother, I lost the one person who would always defend me. Who would always encourage me, and always take my side in any argument. I always knew that no matter how much trouble I managed to get myself into, I always had a home to go back to if I needed it. I always had someone who would bail me out. Someone who would find a way to get me a Barbie ornament for Christmas every year, even if she was too sick to get out and buy it herself. It's a scary feeling when that security is gone.
My mother was so sick for so long before she died that I think it was probably impossible for me to realize it at the time, but I know now that when my mother died, I lost the one person who would love me more than any other person would ever love me in my life.
I miss you, Mama.
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