Monday, November 15, 2010

Strength Through Loss

My youngest memory of her was sitting in her lap while she rocked me in the chair. I always loved her hands, so warm and loving and her nails so strong and smooth. I would sit there holding them and playing with her fingers as long as she would let me.

She was amazing, in every sense of the word. And I don’t say that because I’m biased, I say it because it’s true. She was patient and selfless. No matter what, she made time for you. Whether you were family, a friend or a stranger; she gave up any free time she had for you and never complained. Everyone loved her and respected her.

I think of her everyday but once in a while the smallest things bring back memories of her. The smell of freshly baked bread brings back my childhood memories of her busily working in the kitchen. Her kitchen feels so empty now when I visit, it’s so quiet and the smells of her cooking have long since faded away. Every time I walk up to the front door of the family home, I pause for just a moment and remember the time I flew home and surprised her; I’ll never forget the look on her face. What I would give to see that again.

I still remember our last argument. It is so clear and vivid as if it had happened yesterday. Even in her last months she was still looking out for me, still being a caring and loving mother. I was still the stubborn child that didn’t want to hear the truth. How I wish I could take that moment back. I wish I could take back a lot of moments.

My biggest regret in life is not spending more time with her; living closer instead of moving away. But life carries you to unexpected places as it guides you through all sorts of experiences and uncertainties. As you make your place in the world you, naively, think everything will still be there when you return. I think back to all the birthdays I missed, and all the Christmases. I can never get those back. But life goes on without you and it very rarely ever turns out the way you’d hoped or expected.

I have come to the realization that without her there will be no more phone calls for advice. No more birthday cakes. Holiday dinners will forever be changed. No more stockings being filled and laid at the foot of my bed Christmas Eve as I sleep (yes, she still did this through to my adult years). It’s too late to learn from her; her skills in cooking and sewing; her life’s lessons. 

But through this loss I’ve become stronger and more independent. I’ve come to learn the importance of family and true friends. I’ve become more tolerant and patient with others. I happily switched careers, partly due to changes in economy and partly due to the experience of her loss.

She was a mother, a wife, a grandmother, an aunt, a niece, a sister, a daughter and a best friend. She was the glue that kept my family together. Without her we all struggle. In losing her we all lost an important part of ourselves that can’t ever be replaced.

I miss her.


  1. Sad... :(

    On the bright side, you're an excellent writer!
    This post really makes everyone who reads it feel for you!
    That's one of the things that makes a good writer.