My mother died on Wednesday night around 9:30pm. I was able to be by her bedside holding her hand when it happened. I’ll spare the personal details of my experiences these past few months and share with you some of the things that made me who I am today because of the love and care of my mother:
- I always remember this one thing that my mom told me: No matter how bad you feel, there is always someone doing much worse.
- She loved music and listened to records all the time when I was growing up. Her favorite singer was Billy Joel, but she loved so many artists. Here are just a few that I remember: Al Stewart, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, UB40, Juice Newton, Tina Turner, Chris Isaak, The soundtrack to the Super Fly movie, The Rolling Stones and just so many others I can’t even list. I am a music lover because of my mom.
- She always told everyone she met what a wonderful daughter I was and how much she loved me. I was her world. She lived for me. She was proud of me.
- Mom loved babies so much. Her eyes would just light up whenever we were in a store shopping and she saw children. Unfortunately, our attempt at pregnancy failed in March of 2005, but mom would have been a wonderful grandmother. Knowing she won’t see her grandchild breaks me, but I know that she’s with me in spirit.
- Avon was a big pleasure for her during her six year stay in two nursing homes. She loved to load her hands up with as many rings that her fingers could hold and most times double-stacked her rings because she loved how they looked on her hands. I became an Avon lady this past July so she could have a reliable Avon contact and thanks to her, I’m doing pretty good at it.
- Mom didn’t have a very good relationship with her family, but I always knew how much she loved her mother despite her difficult childhood. But she loved her mother-in-law Rose Silva dearly and thought of her as her own mother. They fought a lot as two women living in a house are prone to do, but they did love and care for each other very much. She took the death of my grandmother very hard in 1988 when I was just 18 years old.
- I always used to tease my mother about her tri-fecta of shopping: shoes, bras and underwear. No matter what department store we went to (Wal-Mart especially), she would drive me nuts because she could never quite find the right bra that fit or be happy with having just a few pairs of shoes. Unfortunately, I’m much like my mother. I have certain things that fascinate me and I just can’t get enough of: salad dressings, vacuums, purses and the latest newly packaged foods in the grocery store.
- Many people say that my mother and I look alike. It used to always irritate me because I wanted to think that my features resembled my father. I didn’t see this before, but now that I look at myself in the mirror, I’m glad that I do actually resemble her.
- I have never seen someone in my own personal life suffer with so much pain on a daily basis. I’m a wimp when it comes to being sick. At the slight awakening of a headache, I’m popping Tylenol. But she was the master of sucking it up and handling pain. I’m so glad that she never ended up in a wheel chair.
- I remember all our walks to Lincoln Plaza when I was little. She used to always say how she bought me all this stuff, but never anything for her self. It made me feel guilty. But as I’m older, I realize that buying things for me and taking care of me was the biggest pleasure in her life aside from being with my dad.
I am going to miss my mother something fierce. Both she and my dad died in the month of November. It will always be a month of sadness for me.
But this Christmas I’m going to do my best not to be sad. I’m going to decorate my new tinsel Christmas Tree and remember all the crazy times when I was little when she used to transform the house. Christmas is my favorite holiday and my parents gave me wonderful memories. But I can guarantee you that when I’m hanging the ornaments on the tree this year, I’ll be thinking of how my mother would go through the process of decorating and tearing down the Christmas tree at least four times until she got it perfect. It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I have her to thank for that as well.
I’m not ashamed to say that she did the best she could as a mother with many problems and I was one lucky kid to have a mother so devoted to me.
I am the best thing about my mother’s life.