Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Miss Her

Today is her birthday. She would have been 67 years old. She was an amazing Mom. She was my best friend. I miss her so much.

My siblings and I all loved her deeply. Other people loved her too. But I just want to talk about my relationship with her because that is what I miss.

Like I said, she was my best friend. Always. As long as I can remember being alive. Even when I was a teenager. We never went through the mother/daughter problems that you hear so much about. And I did some really stupid things. Things I regret. One of the biggest things happened when I was 18, in high school, and she about 6 otr 7 months pregnant with my youngest sister. She was working full time teaching at the high school, going to school after work to get her masters degree. I was supposed to pick her up. I was busy with my friends. I didn't really "forget" what time it was, I just didn't want to leave. I was about 30 minutes late picking her up. She was walking back and forth in front of the school when I pulled up. She looked like she was about to cry. When I pulled up, she got in the car and didn't say a word. She just looked at me. I cannot tell you how horribly selfish and guilty I felt. And I still do today. I left my pregnant 38 year old mother on the side of the road so I could spend more time with my friends. I don't even remember who I was with. But I remember leaving her on the side of the road.

There were some other incidents in which I put my friends in front of my family. Mom tried to guide me and show me what I was doing. I didn't really care. Then one day, close to graduation, she said this:

"You know, you are my friend, not just my daughter. I love going shopping with you, spending time with you, just hanging out. But it seems like you don't have time for me anymore. I miss you. And in a few months, you will leave for college and be gone. I am really going to miss you then."

She never yelled, she never said "You need to . . . ", she never really said anything else. But she may as well have stabbed me in the heart. She was right. And I felt horribly. And I changed. I grew up a little bit that day. I would never intentionally hurt my mother. But I had, over and over. I did better after that. I am sure I did or said stupid things later but nothing like when I was a teenager. And she never gave up on me.

After my husband died, she was my confidante. When I was frustrated with my kids or work, I turned to her. She listened patiently and tried to tell me what to do. She always asked me questions and had me think through the problem. Or just listened to me vent. I really miss having that now. I did the same for her - listened, talked about her issue, heard her frustration. That's what friends do for each other.

So today, I miss her. It's her birthday and she always made us think that our birthday was a national holiday. It was OUR day. I hope to honor her today in some way by telling her Thank You For Being My Mom. And I miss you.


calimountainmama said...

Happy (late) Birthday, Mom!!! Thanks for making me cry, Tere.