Mom, today marks one year that you passed away and I can no longer pretend that you’ve traveled somewhere far and that long distance phone calls are just too expensive. I’ve always known that I needed you but I just did not realize how much. I had no idea how much I relied on you for so many things. Mostly for peace of mind. You just had this way about you, that you could say the right things (even if I didn’t want to hear it) at all times. You have no idea how much I’ve needed our talks and your sound advice.
I am still working on not dwelling on your last few years. Every time I think of you I tear up and start to cry because all I can see is you disappearing right before my eyes. It isn’t easy seeing the person you love most in the world change so drastically. You were so independent and strong and then you weren’t. You hated it more than anything to have your independence taken from you and that hurt me so much. I watched your hair fall out, your eyesight begin to diminish, your pain and the struggle it was to swallow your food. It is no wonder that whenever I would think of you I would cry.
I think it was about a month ago, Emma sent me a candid picture of you from years ago and you were cooking in the kitchen in your headscarf and you had the biggest smile on your face. And that was exactly what I needed to remind myself that you weren’t always sick. And the picture brought back so many happy memories to healthier times.
I remember when you would kick us out the kitchen. This was your place and you made it known. It was a special day when you would allow any of us to help you in the kitchen. And it’s no surprise that all four of us love to cook. Growing up we saw that cooking wasn’t a horrible chore to you. You loved it, so now we do. Funny how that works.
I remember when you asked Sean if he was with me because he loved me or because he just wanted to see how it was like to be with a black girl. You were so serious and the expression on Sean’s face was the best. I remember laughing so hard that I had to hold my stomach. The way you loved & accepted him makes my heart the happiest. I miss it so much talking to you on the phone and you asking to speak to “your boy”. The boy being Sean.
I remember when we use to go to the doctor’s office and we would get a shot you could never watch because it pained you to see us get a needle. Our pain was your pain.
I remember when I got a relaxer and you were not OK with it. And you looked at me and said well, if that is what you want. To this day, I wish I could go back in time and wipe the disappointed look on your face. In the end, I’m so glad that you were able to see me embrace my natural hair.
I love the way you called me a jewel. I love the way every time we spoke on the phone we ended in prayer. I miss your cooking; so, so much. Even when I follow your “recipe” to the exact it never turns out the same. I know why, because you never measured. You just threw things in and created masterpieces.
Today, I’m trying to think of the happy memories and not the way you were taken from us. It’s a lot easier said than done but I’m trying. I really am. So much has happened in the year that you’ve been gone and it breaks my heart that life continues to go on without you. I don’t know when the pain is going to stop. Some tell me time will do that, and some tell me it never will. I’m with the latter because I really can’t imagine when I will ever be OK with you not being here but the thought of you in angel form, no longer in pain …. Well that makes it more bearable.
I love you mom. Until we meet again.