Monday, July 9, 2012

The difference

Yesterday I sat in church and my mind continually went back to my mom.  I was trying to pray for someone special who has been in an awful lot of pain recently and mom kept popping up.  I thought about how much going to church with her meant to me.  When everybody went their own way and it was just her and I at home we had some rough times, of course.  Come on, I was a teenager, but church was always the one place we became partners again.
Mom would sing proudly and that is why I sing so proudly.  Mom would stand up straight and tall and hardly move during the mass and that is why I do the same.  So much of what I am I owe to my mom, but she doesn't know it.  I mean I am sure she knows it on some level, but I just want to sit and talk to her and say two things. Thank you and I am sorry.  Thank you for just everything and I am sorry because now that I have a 12 year old I know what a pain in the ass I was.  I love my daughter with all my heart, but come on she is 12 and some days that means I am counting the minutes until she moves out and into a dorm room.  Let's be real.
So in the middle of reliving my mom's last months in this life, I am struck by the fact that I got so much time with her at the end.  I thank God for that time even with all that pain that accompanied it.  When my dad died it was sudden and unexpected.  I mean we figured he would be dying for about 10 years before he actually did because he was not a healthy guy, but he was living life fully right up to the last as he was trying on sports coats in Sears when he had a massive heart attack.   That was shocking to say the least.  But if I had to tell you which way was better, I would choose mom's way.  Remember it is me choosing not her.  She lived the pain.  She might say something different.  But, you know, we had a chance to relive memories together, to pray together, to sit silently together.  In the midst of the storm that was the end, I did get to say how much I loved her.  I did thank her.  I did tell her I know that she was worried about me but that I would be okay.  Because I told her that, I knew I had to live that.  Making her the promise that I would be okay meant I had to keep that promise and that has made all the difference.

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