Friday, March 5, 2010

The Remembering Place

I graduated from college in May of '92
My mother was diagnosed with cancer later the same year
For her next Mother's Day,
I bought a simple notebook and began making a list...
a stream-of-consciousness-of-sorts
one-liners and simple sentences or single words
detailing things I was thankful for,
things I remembered from 22 years
things she had done for me, given to me
loved me through and taught me.

It was with that notebook,
that I started writing, the way I now journal and blog,
as a list
rather than paragraphs
in small thoughts and
short phrases

Here it is
almost 13 years since I lost her
and the list of things I have remembered,
in the time I have been without her,

The things I have missed about her,
the moments when I have
needed her
and longed for her company
and love
cannot even be itemized or listed.
The number would be too great.

But, alas
I am in my
Remembering Place.

I sit here
in this Place,
around this time,
each year,
leading up to The Day,
the mark on the calendar
when she left here
and went There.

Sometimes I am sad
Sometimes it is hard
Very Hard
I cry a lot
A Lot
But I am not depressed
I am not hopeless
I am not in a pit of despair
or stuck in the Remembering Place

I just really, really, really
love my mother
and miss her.
Especially this week.
Every Year.

Here is a short list of things I am missing today
Her voice
Her laugh
Her teeth
Her smile
The paper-thin, freckled and wrinkled skin on her hands
Her salt-and-pepper hair
Her straw purses and cheap shoes
Her wind-suits and elastic-waist pants
Her red lipstick and black mascara
The slope of her shoulders and roundness of her belly
(and the way that same belly shook when she laughed really hard)
The way she hung on every word I said
The way her eyes sparkled when she looked at me
The way she loved to play board games
Her nails tapping on the side of her tea cup while she was thinking
The cheese toast she ate for breakfast
Her scent. Oh.I.Miss.The.Way.She.Smelled.
Her box of coupons for grocery shopping

I miss sitting next to her at church and listening to her sing
I miss her calling to tell me about Regis and Kathy Lee
I miss watching her read the paper every day
I miss watching her eat popcorn
I miss watching Murder, She Wrote together in the den

I miss having a mother.
I miss having someone love my children, the way I know she would
I miss getting to introduce her to my children
I miss that she never got to admire my son's character
or witness Tatum's compassion
or revel in the news that she has twin grandbabies.
I miss my kids getting little treats in the mail from her.
I miss her validation.
Her admiration of me.
I miss her words and hugs and kisses.

I miss---
that no matter
how great
or how bad
how hard
or how amazing
Any Day
Any Event
Any Moment
Any Success
or Any Failure
might be...
I am unable to share it with her
I am unable to relive it with her
That Is What I Miss The Most

I miss getting to share who I am
who I have become
who I am hoping to one day be...
with her
when she is so utterly and completely
involved with why I am any of those things
That Is What I Miss The Most

I miss getting to see her in her 60s, 70s and 80s
I miss seeing how she would have grown and become
more of who she already was
and how we would have laughed and cried together
That Is What I Miss The Most

I am loved
I am known
I am understood
and I am secure.
Because she is a part of everything I do
and everything I am
because I was
by her.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to one of the most amazing women of God I have ever been privileged to know. You are most blessed among women to have had her for a Mother. I know you will never stop missing, and I'm so glad you will never stop missing her. None of us who were blessed to call her friend will ever stop missing her. Oh, and by the way, I believe that she does know of your son's character, and your daughter's compassion; and she is reveling in her twin grandbabies. She is, after all, a part of your great cloud of witnesses.

  2. Oh, yes, Becky. You were mothered. And it was such a beautiful mothering. She was a treasure. Her love for you was apparent- even from someone looking on from afar.

    I wish you still had her. She would be thrilled with the woman you have been, are, and will become.

    I love you.