If my mother was still alive she’d be turning sixty-five years old today. As a middle aged woman of forty-two, myself, that seems so young. Since I’ve started living an RV lifestyle I am surrounded by men and women decades older, who are full of life and vigor. It doesn’t seem fair sometimes that a woman who loved life so much is gone. It doesn’t seem right that a lady who desired grandchildren so intensely passed away before she met even one of (now) seven grandkids. Most of the time, I just try not to think about it.
Have you ever had someone in your life become someone else? What I mean is, they change. One day you’re close, the next day, not so much. It’s usually some huge event that fosters change, but sometimes, I guess, people just evolve. They become someone new, and that someone doesn’t fit into your life anymore. It’s almost like they died, like they dropped off the face of the earth. Or even if you do speak, it seems like such a foreign conversation.
You ask yourself, who is this person?!
It’s happened to me before. Someone I love dearly moves on to a new life, with new friends, new hobbies, new interests, and it feels like the person I once held so dear is no more. Except for the moments.
I’ve discovered, in my own personal experience that you are sometimes given glimpses, or precious moments of time where the old personality of your friend or loved one emerges, even if just briefly. Just such a moment occurred for me recently, and afterwards I joyfully shared it with my spouse.
“Do you know what I wouldn’t give to have a moment like that with Mom?” I asked my husband.
As we spoke I explained to my husband that while it could make me sad to lose a relationship through distance or time, that when it was reunited it was even sweeter than before. Though the relationship I had once known was gone, those spectacular glimpses into our prior connection were a treasure. And though they were far and few in-between, they still were wonderful. Like a breath of a sweet fragrance your memory had locked away for safe keeping.
If my mother was still alive today I would cherish each second with her for the fleeting time it was. Because now I realize that even one, five minute, phone conversation would be like Christmas morning. Even one hug, one glimpse of her smile, one sound of her raucous laughter, that would be the biggest thing for me. One small encounter would mean the world. One smell of her perfume, one minute of advice, one session with her gentle, listening ear. What I wouldn’t do for that one moment of time!
I wish I could buy her a birthday card today, but even more, that I could watch her read it. I would scour the card aisle, reading every one, and even then I know it wouldn’t get close to conveying how much I loved her, missed her, needed to see her face. But I sure would love the opportunity to try and see.
I wish she could meet the girls. I would let them visit whenever she asked, and I wouldn’t complain when she spoiled them! I’d laugh about how ridiculous they acted when they came back home hopped up on sugar and leniency. I promise I would.
I would listen to her say, “you did that exact thing when you were little!”
In fact, I yearn to hear her say that. After all, she was the only one who knew those things.
Did I learn to crawl first or cruise?
Was I easy to potty train?
Surely I wasn’t as persistent as my second child is, or as independent as the third!
What do you think, Mom?
I think that if my Mom was still alive I could finally pick up the phone and tell her what’s on my mind, instead of intending to call for a split second, before sadly remembering I cannot.
I would ask her advice. I would share how wonderful life has gotten over the last ten years, even though she hasn’t been a part of it, and I’d let her know that’s the only piece missing. Her.
As it stands, I long for forever, to not have to wish for mere moments, but to enjoy timeless togetherness. For that will be a fine day indeed. But until that day I’ll enjoy every morsel of each one that exists for me here on earth. I’ll savor the moments that pass too quickly and fade into memories before your very eyes. I’ll enjoy every smile, every laugh, each and every one. I’ll cherish my relationships, my family, and all the in between.