I am going to be 40 this year. I would say that I have had a great (nearly) 40 years and I have turned out alright! I was (mostly) a straight-A kid in school and graduated close to the top of my class. I went on to college, and despite losing a scholarship (to a program I really didn’t want to be in after all), I did manage to find my way and graduated with a BS in Secondary Education. From there I went on to be a computer teacher for nearly 13 years and even got a Masters of Education in Technology early on in my teaching career.
I met the most wonderful guy towards the end of my first year of college and 21 years later we are still going strong and looking forward to our 16th wedding anniversary this year. We have moved from ME to MA, to CO & then back to MA again. We have 2 wonderful boys that are our whole world and are proud of the little men they are becoming.
And while I am my own person, and have made good choices along the way, sometimes even learning the hard way, I have also had a mentor all these years. And that is my Mom. My Mom may not have led a perfect life along the way, but she tried as best she could to set a good example for her 4 children.
My Mom is selfless in her love for us. And with that love she has made sure we are all aware that we are all special in our own ways. She is encouraging, supportive, and proud of us all. She is also not afraid to point out her own struggles and choices, and to use that to let us know that there’s no need to be perfect, just the need to understand the choices we make do have consequences. She had my sister right out of high school – and she would not change history for anything. But it was one of the decisions in her life she used to remind us of choices.
My Mom is also a very strong and proud woman. When I was very young she and my father divorced – and it was not a pretty divorce. She and I went through a lot of trauma during that time, and along the way she had great composure and strength that I still admire. But she also let me be my own person and make my own decisions about my father, never once badmouthing him or trying to turn me against him, despite the violence he tended to display. She would talk with me at length that he was my father and it was OK to love him if that was how I felt, but that I could feel otherwise, as well – it was up to me. I was my own person and she let me be my own person – and supported whatever the decision may be.
She knows each of us 4 kids is unique, special, and has our own traits that are special in our own rights. And she makes each one of us feel proud, and she makes each one of us feel her pride. She is the Mom that is the envy of our friends – our Mom is the one that everyone else wants for a Mom. She is cool. She is fun. She has high expectations for each and everyone of us, and conveys those in a way that is loving, sincere, and encouraging. Not every kid is so lucky to have all that in a Mom. I am. She is the best.
And here’s where there’s a whole in my heart.
My mom WAS the best. My Mom passed away very unexpectedly 2 weeks ago. And I am at a total loss. She was my rock all of these 39+ years. She was my sounding board. My shoulder to lean on, my go-to person. Yes – I have all of that in the Laughing Dad & he is there for me whatever the need may be. But there’s nothing like the support of a Mom. A Mom’s love and support cannot be duplicated, recreated, or simulated. It’s one of a kind. And my one of a kind is gone.
Yes – she lives on in me. She always will. She is a large influence behind the woman I am today. But I was not done with her – we still had so much fun to have, so many things to tell each other and so many years of support to share. She needed to watch my boys grow. She needed to listen to me lament the “joys” of my teenage boys. She needed to travel with me to Florida many more times to visit my sister. She needed to make me cream puffs a few more times. She needed to hug me and tell me she was proud of me many more times.
There is no doubt she knew just how deeply she was loved, cared for, respected, and admired – no regrets there. But I was not ready for her to not be here. Not that a child could ever be prepared for the loss of a parent, but damn it, THIS SUCKS.