In a few days, it will be Mother’s Day Not a day goes by that I don’t think of this amazing woman. She helped to define and shape me throughout my life. She gave me confidence to be proud of who I was, even when I didn’t feel worthy. She gave me hope for the future. She disciplined, when necessary, but rarely laid a hand on me. The only time I recall a spanking from her was when she chased me through the house with a hairbrush to achieve the deed, only to have the brush break at the first blow – resulting in both of us laughing heartily.
Mom became a widow at the age of 59. She was a beautiful woman, with personality to match. She remarried and settled in Florida for a number of years until her second husband passed away. It was at that point that she began to feel the effects of aging and chronic back pain. Through many years of doctoring and the use of prescription drugs to decrease the pain, she became dependent on the drugs which were designed to help her. She became disoriented and unable to live on her. My sister attended to all the expenses and time involved in moving her. When she came to Minnesota, to live with Paul & me, she was 79. She resisted – she fought – she denied needing care – she finally gave in and stayed with us for a year until she got healthy again. She then moved to an independent living apartment and lived there for another seven years.
I am now the age she was when she came to live with us. It’s hard taking the place of the parent you called mom. It’s like reversing roles in a way, but I treasure that time I had with her. There were many trips to the ER – a few hospital stays – lots of doctor appointments – daily visits at first to make sure she was doing well. It’s tough to watch your parents grow older and more dependent upon you. As I look forward to my 80th birthday, I think about the day we celebrated her 80th. It was such a blessing to surround this woman with love on her special day. All of our children and grandchildren were on hand to sing Happy Birthday to Grandma Lou.
My hearing is failing. My body is showing signs of age, but I am forever grateful to the woman who carried me for nine months in her womb and throughout her time on earth. She was and remains, my mom. I know she is pain free now and enjoying the blessings of heaven, but she also holds a most special place in my heart.
The vision of your loveliness is etched within my heart,
My memories imprinted there, I don’t know where to start,
I know that I was loved by you, with an unending love,
You proved it in a million ways, when push turned into shove,
You looked beyond the cares of life, you leaped among the stars,
You dreamed the wildest dreams for me, you washed away all scars,
You were my special hero – the one I looked up to,
Leading me by example, showing me what to do,
The difficult years of childhood, you made seem like a breeze,
Because of your enduring love, and every tender squeeze,
Though you have long since departed, my heart remembers still,
The true, unconditional love, my waiting heart did fill,
I miss you every day, sweet mom, your smile I miss so much,
Your kindness and your gentleness, your sweet endearing touch,
I know my own days are numbered, God’s timeline won’t erase,
But we will meet again someday, in his own heavenly place.