Moms are really special. Even though we know that, sometimes we may not be as grateful as we should until we no longer have them.
A year ago I wrote for Mother’s Day that mine, who was then 89, was not doing well. Hospice had been called in a couple weeks before then, though they were not needed around the clock.
I said then unless there was some miracle, reality was Mother wouldn’t see 90, nor would she be here for another Mother’s Day. It was sad, I mentioned back then, but Mother had enjoyed a good life.
I was wrong about her not seeing another birthday, because she turned 90 last November. Sadly enough, though, I was right about her not being here for another Mother’s Day.
She almost made it, but fell just short when she passed away two weeks ago Friday morning.
She outlived my dad by nearly 25 years. They had enjoyed just over 34 years of marriage prior to his death in 1988.
Since her passing, I’ve reflected over the past couple of weeks and lots of memories pop into mind.
I remember how she used to get up me in plenty of time to go to grade school based on which direction the wind was blowing since I had a bike ride of nearly two miles ahead of me. If it was out of the south, I was up earlier and if it was from the north, I got to sleep a little longer.
I remember when I was about 6 or 7 and had come home from tagging along on a dove hunt with dad and had an injured dove he let me keep. She helped me keep it alive a day or two, then it died.
She would fix me breakfast and often send it with me so I could go to communion at church before classes started at the Catholic grade school I attended.
Over the last few months, she would smile and help me remember when I was about 4 how I would drink my one cup of coffee on Sunday morning with lots of sugar and cream and sit with her and my grandparents and say “now let’s talk.”
She would check my math homework in the early morning and if it needed correcting, made sure I did it before loading up and leaving.
I remember one morning when I was in the fifth grade and she came and sat on the side of my bed telling me my uncle had passed away the night before and she wanted me to know since those at my school would also know.
Page 2 of 2 - There are a lot of other memories I could talk about. These are just a few.
I think one of mother’s strongest qualities always was a deep faith in God which gave her strength as she faced some of the difficulties in life.
And, as with all good mothers, she was so unselfish, always putting the needs of her family in the front of her own.
She lost my baby brother in 1960 when he died within the first 48 hours after birth. Mother, not knowing the dangers at the time, had been exposed to the German measles during her pregnancy.
Then there was the death of my dad at only 64 years old, and 10 years later my brother died at 41.
She was one of eight children, the third oldest and the second oldest daughter. Only two younger siblings remain today. She had a good life. She had a long life.
Over the past year, my wife Pat has been so comforting and supportive. That’s what good wives and mothers do.
She was my sounding board and was there as I needed her. She lost her dad almost 20 years ago, her grandmother 13 years ago, so she knows and understands well what I and my sister were dealing with, went through and are still experiencing.
I celebrated my birthday a week after mother passed and Pat wrote in my birthday card “Happy 65th birthday to you. I know that it will be a little different for you. Your mother wouldn’t want you to dwell on her but celebrate.”
And she’s right, that is what Mother would want.
Another strength of Mother’s was she always was supportive, encouraging, helpful and understanding. She was a nurturing mother throughout our lives, especially when we were younger.
As I grew older, with dad no longer around, I tried to be there more as she needed and called on me to help her. I found that easy to do with someone who was always there for me.
It still remains fitting we recognize today and honor our wives and mothers and that we allow this day to be set aside especially for them.
That is what I plan to do, even though I will miss mine.