The first 18 years of my life were filled with curiosity, imagination, and melodrama. Images run through my mind of my childhood and teen years with golden summer afternoons reading with my mom, delicious savory and sweet smells wafting from the kitchen where she made culinary magic happen daily; pre-dawn school mornings where I sat with her eating cereal while she read the Detroit Free Press; dark confusing weekends when my mom locked herself in her room and cried relentlessly while we tiptoed the halls; giggly nights in bed with mom while she tickled and teased us.
Those first 18 years seemed to go by so much more slowly, like they were a lifetime. Now another 18 years have passed. 18 years with so many memories with growth, glee, gloom…but no memories with my mother. It seems so strange to think I’ve lived on this earth without her as long as I lived with her.
Many women who have lost their mothers feel robbed. Robbed of a confidante, an advisor, a female presence that is irreplaceable. I admit to all this feelings of loss. Yet I also think how blessed I am to be able to live the rest of my life with those 18 years of memories, that are veiled with the sepia dust of nostalgia. As backwards as I sounds, but I get to live my life with a profound and beautiful longing that in and of itself gives me fulfillment.
So today I pour one out for the woman who has had the single most significant impact in my life, for the 18 years she was present and the 18 years she’s been missing.
I love you always, Mom.