Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– From The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver
A month ago, my dearest and oldest friend lost her mother to a long battle with cancer. My newest friend just learned that her mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. These events have unsurprisingly brought a lot of emotions and memories to the surface of my mind.
Mom is the foundation of our being. She kissed our scraped knees, taught us to read and write, cook a mean pasta sauce, walk a mile in another’s shoes, fight for what we believe in, set a proper table, and love unconditionally and fully. Mothers the world over demonstrate the power of human courage, wisdom and positive energy.
Nobody laughs like your mom.
Nobody hugs like your mom.
Nobody tells you the truth like your mom.
As cliche as it sounds, I feel there’s a bittersweet beauty in the knowledge that our moms do live on even after they leave this world. We hear their voices in our minds when we’re struggling with a decision. We see their smile in the faces of our aunts, our sisters, our daughters, and our own reflection. Sometimes, they visit us in our dreams. My mom shows up every once in awhile, usually when I’m facing stressful times. Our chats are not monumental, they are simply time together where we talk about life. At some point in our conversation, I pause and say, “But Mom, how are you here? I thought you died.”
She smiles and says, “But honey, I’ve always been here.”
The days after one of her visits, the colors in the world are a little more vivid.
I hear my mother’s voice speak to me through that poem by Mary Oliver, “Maria, what will you do with your one wild and precious life? Don’t wait! Don’t waste. Take risks, live BIG, love with abandon, be the person you were destined to be every moment of every day of your life.”