Sunday, April 18, 2010

Motherly Love

I grew up with the best mother a child could imagine. She taught preschool & piano lessons, was our church organist, was great at redecorating our house, and often baked goodies for us after school. I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be just like her. She actually influenced me to become a teacher and I have always hoped that someday I can be half the mom she was to me!
The summer between my 7th & 8th grade year, my mom passed away from cancer. She had been sick for quite awhile. We watched my mom change from a very active, vibrant woman to someone that didn't even seem like the same person anymore. I often helped her do things when she was no longer able to and at the time, I hated every minute of it. I wished that my mom was like all the other moms who were able to take their daughters shopping or could go watch all their athletic events. I resented her so much for getting sick and not being the same mom that she used to be. I couldn't have friends over anymore and it was embarrassing to have to tell people why.
When summer was over and it was time to go back to school, it was weird. It seemed like no one even knew that my mom had died. I had gotten cards from friends and teachers a few times over the summer, but no one really knew what I had been going through. It was a tough transition and I felt like since people didn't know, I didn't have a lot of support. Death is not a usual topic for 8th graders, so I guess I just never brought it up.
It makes me sad now though that I never did tell people. I should have honored my mother's memory and told people about her. Some people that I went to school with still have no idea that my mom passed away and they just assume that my step-mom is my real mom. It hurts me that my close friends knew my mom, but we were so young and so now they don't even remember her. She was such a great person and I wish they had a chance to really know her.
I have always felt guilty for being mad at her for getting sick. If I had only been a little bit older, I think I would have understood a little better what was happening. I wish that I could go back and help her again with all those everyday things that I hated doing at the time. I would gladly wash her face and paint her nails now if I had the chance to do it all over again!
I still love her dearly and think of her almost every single day. There is not one major decision in my life that I have not thought to myself about what she would think. Every time I see a picture of her it reminds me of how lucky I was to have her in my life for 12 short years. I only wish that she was here to see her grown children, her 5 grandchildren, meet her children's spouses, and visit all her other family. I think she would be really proud of all of us!


  1. I cried too! I remember your mother...we sat through MANY track meets together! :) She was a wonderful woman and I have NO DOUBT that she would be so very proud of you!

  2. Melissa I remember your mom but not as much as I wish I did. I wish I could go back to that time and talk to you more about it, to pay attention to the fun things she always did with us and for us. I always loved spending the night at your house and getting to ride in the station wagon! I am sure she is so very proud of all of you because I know I am proud of you! Love you, m.

  3. Your mom was so wonderful! From what I remember, you are so much like her! I think you are right about all of us being so young when it happened that we didn't know how to react either. I hope you know that I will listen to you talk about your mother whenever you want! Luv you!

  4. Mel, kuddos to you for starting this blog and for this brave post. Though I can't relate to your situation with your mom, I think you have identified some very common human experiences about feeling guilty, resentful, lonely, and most of all, LOVE. What a wise young woman your mama created. I look forward to reading more!

  5. It doesn't matter how old you are when you lose your mom--it's gut-wrenching. And I can relate to your "distance issues." I needed Aunt Kathy to use her nursing skills to do the things for mom that I couldn't do, like clipping her fingernails, and wiping her chin. I think we hated dong it because it wasn't fair that we were losing them. Either way, I felt the same as you did at the older age I was! I was thinking back to when some of my HS friends lost a parent at a young age. We mourned with them for a while, but it wasn't us, so we moved on. Not even thinking that they needed us to help them move on as well. All perfectly normal. I hope my friends understood that.

    Your mom would be very proud of the woman you've become. You are thoughtful, generous, loving, smart, straightforward--too many positives to mention them all! And I love that you are in my life!

  6. I wanted to say, too, that I wish I could have met your mom. I have a feeling we would have become great friends! Her daughter is so much like me in so many ways, yet so different, too, that we would have had a ball trying to analyze that!