Thursday, September 14, 2006
My Mom and Dad in 1942.
My Mom and Dad 2005
Many times over the last few years my mom would say she felt like she was still 18 just trapped inside an 80 year old body.
My mom passed away a few weeks ago and she is on my mind throughout each day. I find I want to tell people what a truly great person she was, but her life is more than what my words can portray. So what drives me to write about her? I just want to catch a glimpse of my mom. I miss her.
My mom lived fully. She made choices and lived with the consequences without regret. She once told me her priorities. First was God, next was my Dad, and third came her children. As a kid this came as a great shock. Somehow not being first seemed an insult. But in my own life I have grown to understand her wisdom. My mom and Dad were married 64 years.
Part of her greatness was the way she lived what she believed. As a Catholic she used the only natural method of birth control available at the time, resulting in nine children, spaced two to four years apart. Mom never said it was easy, but she never complained it was hard. She would say she followed her conscience. When I had a dilemma she didn't give me her answers but would tell me "Listen to your conscience".
I often want to please everyone and be well liked and well thought of. I think of mom and the thought occurs to me that she never seemed to really think about what others thought. She lived trying to please God. I am sure there were many days she didn't want to go to work at 7am and cook dinner at 5pm, but she did it, steadfastly. She taught me to do the right thing even on days I didn't "feel" like it.
And if we are judged by the fruits of our labour, than the hundreds of people who came to my moms wake and funeral and the tears and stories they told shows she bore much fruit. From her co-workers from 25 years ago to the waitresses where she had breakfast last week, they all came with stories of how her life touched theirs. Despite not being wrapped up in what people thought, she was thought of very well.
My mom's passing has left a void in my life. But I am realizing that amazingly she has helped fill it. The love she and my Dad showed each of my sisters and I, we now share with each other.