Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sixteen Years

Sixteen years ago today, the thing that continues to most profoundly affect my life happened.

I lost my mother.

A friend told me then that it never hurts less, it just hurts less often. Thanks for that, Joan. I have found it to be the truest thing ever said to me.

To lose a parent is to be made to feel like a lost toddler in a Department store. I still feel that way sometimes.

But mostly, I just feel this profound hole that nothing fills. I keep wanting to pick up the phone and call, wanting to tell her all of my adventures.

I do tell her, but it isn't the same.

The last time I spoke to my mother was on my birthday in 1996. She called me, like she did every year, at 1:26 am, the time of my birth. It was the one midnight call I got each year that never made my heart race thinking something was wrong. I grumbled each time I was roused from sleep, but I secretly loved it and I miss that call.

I wish my family had been the kind to make home movies so I could hear her voice again, see her again in something other than the still photographs, like the one above with my grandmother, great-grandmother, and a certain little baby dyke, that never quite capture her spirit.

I am lucky. I still have my dad and he is awesome. But I am jealous of people like my wife who have both of their parents.

So do me a favor. If you still have your parents, call them. Tell them you love them. Do it for me.


Becky said...

Losing a parent is tough. I'm sorry. Thinking of you.

Global Nomad said...

I called my mom and read her your blog. We both cried as we said I love you to each other. Thanks for sharing.

Hihankara said...

I have had the same thought, since losing my mom in 2003. A dear friend just lost her mother and I offered her the same advice - that it hurts, but less often. And that grief will surprise her when it comes, and not to be ashamed or embarrassed if it does. I avoid bookstores in "Mothers Day season" just for that reason.

ChicaOverseas said...

Oh, too sadly we share the loss of our mothers. My mom died unexpectedly before our first post overseas and I am still living that "lost" feeling at times. Thank you for putting to words the many feelings that come with losing a mother. Yes, those home movies would be great, even just a 30 second clip.

Thanks for posting. You wrote what I needed to hear.