For me, this past Mother’s Day was spent in Wisconsin Dells at the Kalahari Resort. We were there celebrating the twins’ birthday and, of course, Mother’s Day.
Yet a couple of times throughout the day, but more so at night before falling asleep and being alone with my thoughts, I sort caught myself having a conversation with my own mother. Well, maybe not a conversation but more of a long winded, one-way, dialog between myself and a woman I never knew.
You see, my mother died when I was two years old and the only memories I have of her are ones created in my own mind. Oh sure, I’ve seen pictures and heard stories from those who knew my mother well, but it’s not the same. Hearing that “your mother loved you very much” is not the same as hearing “I love you very much.”
So there I was talking to her and explaining my life in general; essentially looking for approval I guess. I told her of the Twins’ exploits; of their likes and dislikes. I asked if she’d be proud of me and if she approved of the choices I’ve made. I thanked her for, well, everything even though she wasn’t able to be around for much of anything.
“What do you think of my wife?”, I asked. “Do you think you two would’ve gotten a long?”
“Obviously, my life can be pretty chaotic but aren’t the twins just awesome? I know you would’ve loved them and they would’ve loved you. Though it saddens me that you never got to meet them. Although in reality, it saddens me even more that I never really got to meet you.”
“I cried over you once and I’ll never forget it. ‘Your mom…’ jokes were pretty big at the time and a friend of a friend was constantly saying to me ‘Your mom (this)…’ and ‘Your mom (that)…’. It didn’t bother me at the time, but that night it really hit me and I cried. I think it was the first time I truly missed you and have been doing so ever since.”
“Did you know I went to college? Graduated with honors? Have a Master of Arts degree? I didn’t have any sort graduation parties to speak of, I sometime imagine that I did and you were there.”
“Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, mom: if I had known you and then lost you or simply not ever have known you at all.”
The ramblings go on, but the theme is the same. When I think about and talk to my mom, the focus always seems to be You missed so much of my life. Here’s what I’ve done. What do you think?.
None of us truly know what waits for us on the other side. We think we know and we imagine what it might be like. We take it upon faith it’ll be eternal and everlasting with a joyous reunion with family members who have gone before us.
Me? I don’t know what to expect, but if there is an afterlife and my mom’s waiting for me, she better pull up a chair because she and I have a lot of catching up to do – and I’ve already got a pretty good head start on what I want to say.