I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day while I was driving into the city. It’s an interactive station. It’s hip and fun. They play all the newest songs. And some oldies.
I’ve listened to this station for years. Probably 20 or more. On this particular morning, the DJ asked his listening audience when it was that they truly felt like an adult. Did they remember the moment in time? There were a lot of predictable answers.
When I got married…
After the birth of my first child…
When I was diagnosed with….
Driving down the freeway towards my destination, I lost myself in thought as the soft sounds of the radio continued playing in the background. When was it that I truly felt like an adult for the first time…
I had been through so much in the past 2 years. My life had changed so drastically. A diagnosis of Cancer. Surgeries. Radiation. Moving my husbands parents across the country ~ back home here. He and I had gone from the role of adult children to caregivers. The loss of my Father-in-Law. The loss of my beloved Mother.
The sting of my Mom’s death was still fresh. The wound still deep.
I went back to my hometown a few weeks ago. Back to the place where I was raised. Where I had grown up. The Midwestern town that had shaped me into the adult I am today. I needed to go back and go through my Mom’s house one last time. We had put it on the market shortly after her death. It had sold in a matter of weeks. I brought a friend along with me for moral support. The same friend who had helped me through some very dark days after my Mom’s immediate death. And I met with my sweet sister, Nancy, there that day, too.
I did not know how I would react to the necessity of this final act of letting go. Her home was the last materialistic and tangible object remaining of her time with us in this life. And now, that too, would soon become just a sweet memory.
As I worked together with my sister and dear friend to clear out what was left of her belongings, I thought to myself how odd and somewhat sad it is that we accumulate all of these materialistic things during our lifetime. Treasures to us. But to others, just objects. Often, objects of no interest to those left behind after a loved one dies. And at the end of your life, it’s as if you just open up your front door, walk out on your life. All of your things are just left behind.
I came across things that I had not seen in years. Things that would bring out a sudden laugh or chuckle. Things that made me smile ~ each one stirring a treasured memory. I found myself laughing more than crying that day. And, I knew my mom would be laughing right beside me. She was lighthearted. And fun. And always found the humor in any situation. I inherited that from her. Her take on life was also mine. Her sense of humor I shared, too. Thank You, Mom!!
I thought back upon my deep love for my Mom throughout that entire day. When did our relationship change from mother-daughter to a true, deep friendship? I could not pinpoint the time, but I knew there was most definitely a metamorphosis that had taken place. We truly were friends. We enjoyed each others company and shared so many moments together that two girlfriends would share. Hour long phone calls. Often as long as 2+ hours. We traveled together. A lot. And during those travels we became closer and closer. We saw things for the first time together and were in awe as we traveled and our eyes were opened to new experiences. Italy. France. Spain. Parts of the USA as well. She became close to my children. They formed close bonds with her. So much so, that they would travel by themselves to see her and spend time with her. All treasured memories now, locked up in my heart.
As we finished our task that day and were walking out, I turned back one last time and looked around at what had once been her home. When did I truly first feel like an adult? I never felt more adult than I did in that moment. I was left behind here on Earth while my Mother, who I love more than words can describe, had gone home to be with my Dad in Heaven.
My Love for my Mom and Dad is deep rooted in my heart and soul. Forever.
Tomorrow is Mother’s day. I am going to be celebrating my Mom and smiling at the memory of her inner beauty, over-abundance of unconditional love, our deep friendship, and her selfless gift of being the best role model I could have ever asked for.
I miss her so, so, so much. I’m sure she is smiling down on me right now from her new home in Heaven.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I Love You.