My mom was younger than I am now when she lost her mother. Unfortunately she had passed away from acute lymphoma, a type of cancer that has claimed the lives of many. I have very few and vivid memories of her as I was much younger when she passed away. To be honest I don't remember how I felt when I had learned she had passed, and I feel like it wasn't until I was older that I had grieved the loss of her.
It was not necessarily my first experience with death as my great-grandmother had passed the year prior, sadly also to a form of cancer. However I don't remember her passing at all.. I believe that I was old enough that I should remember but for whatever reason I do not. So my first real memory of losing a loved one was my Grammy. Though most of that memory is lost, I remember my mother getting the call and her being sad. I remember that she hugged my sister and I. I don't remember the funeral with the exception of when we were burying her. She had been cremated and some of her ashes had been spread elsewhere, and what was left was in this tiny blue box. I do recall thinking to myself how on Earth could she be in this tiny box as my childhood mind was unable to comprehend what had just happened. They had wanted me to place the box in the ground and I did try but my arms couldn't reach all the way down and I had started to get upset , being afraid that I was going to drop her. Other than that the only thing I remember is just being excited that I was about to see my cousin....
It's odd what we remember and what we don't. More often than not I have family members tell stories of me when I was younger that I don't recall at all, as if someone is reading me a story of a completely different person that I don't even know anymore. But I often think to myself how hard it must be to not have your mom around.I do understand that not every person has a great relationship with their mother but I was pretty blessed with mine.
Yesterday I had another doctor's appointment and my mom had come to watch my younger children while I went. I ended up having a cyst removed off my cervix and having another biopsy. If you've ever had this process done you already know the discomfort and pain that I was in when I got home.But thankfully my mom was here, she took care of dinner and helped tidy some of my house. There's been many times my mom has been there for me, even though I know I thank her , and tell her how much I appreciate her (even though I may not have done so much when I was an unruly teenager) what I really hope she knows the most is how grateful I am that she's even here.
I had a very good friend pass away a couple of years ago now, and recently her daughter has just announced that she is pregnant with a baby of her own. I'd often envied my friend's relationship with her daughter ,as her daughter would call her at work every single day. And it wasn't until this particular funeral that I realized how lucky I was that my mom is still here. Because when I am struggling I'm still able to call her, and even though my view on death has completely changed from when I was younger ,I still understand how difficult it can be when one of your main forms of support is suddenly gone. And even though I know my friend's daughter is well loved and still very much supported from friends and family , I do also know that there is just no replacement for your mom.
I'm so very grateful that my mother has been able to see and experience all of her grandchildren. That she supports me even when she doesn't necessarily agree. That she's been there for me even when I don't ask, because I'm terrible at asking for help. And even though I may not be showering my mother this mother's Day with the physical gifts I know and feel she deserves, I hope she knows now how blessed and thankful I feel that she is my mom. I hope that she knows this everyday, and not just on mother's Day.