It is the last hour of my 24 blog-a-thon and I struggle to find the words to write. There are some memories (despite what you’ve read here,) that don’t or won’t make sense written. Secret things in the languages of families that only make sense to them, inside jokes with timing that’s only perfected when the one you love who knows you can remember what it stands for and laugh while the rest of the world quirks their eyebrows quizzically at you. My mother and I were a lot like that. We had our own strange language where I parroted a statement or commercial or sound, even, and she would understand what memory or amazingly stupid thing I did in the past and get it.
That doesn’t translate so well on a blog.
My mother was an amazing person. No less than you are amazing and no less than your mother being an amazing person–even if you never knew her, even if she wasn’t in your life, even if she screwed it all up in some way. Each one of us are unique in that we are all the same, struggling to love, live, laugh, learn and survive the day to day side by side, thinking no one understands one another or what they are going through.
A mistake I made with my own mother and parents when I was a teenager and young adult…believing they wouldn’t understand and had never been there, so never talking to them about what I was feeling or doing or thinking.
It’s so strange to look back on my younger self and face the horrible, awful truth that your parents and adults in your life were generally right. They may not have had iphones or ipods or even the internet as we know it; but they were kids once, too. They were and are human beings with the same failings, issues, problems and emotions as we had. They went through puberty, peer pressure, bullying, depression and more, too. They lived just as we did. Only now they are trying to tell us not to follow in their footsteps even as they watch helplessly as we do.
I guess what I am trying to say in closing is: all of those cliches about everything…about time and wishing you could do it all over again, about doing anything to get one minute more as well as about not appreciating what you have until it is gone is true.
I spoke to my mother last sometime in November. She was pale but she always was, I couldn’t tell if it was extra pale or the low quality camera on the laptop she was using. She stopped perming her hair to try and give it volume and thickness, as she had lost so much of it it wasn’t worth harming it anymore. She looked good with straight hair. I told her she looked really good with it and she didn’t believe me. She seemed surprised when I told her.
We talked about small things that didn’t matter. Dad’s loud guitar playing down in the living room. Family. My grandmother. My aunt. I talked about my cats and my birds and I promised her that I would call her again near Christmas and we’d talk on Skype again.
I never got that chance.
I made the mistake many children make. I believed my parents were immortal–grand figures from my childhood that blocked out the sun when it was too bright, carried me when I was too tired, kissed away my sadness when I asked for it, and sung me songs in the cradle of arms as they rocked away nightmares. I thought she would be here forever and that I would have more time to show her–to REALLY show her–that I get it. I got it. And if I could take it all back I would. And that every day is an apology and a hope to grow, to love more, to learn.
The thing is, none of us are immortal. We are little lanterns bobbing along at night. It only takes the slightest breeze or tiniest of waves sometimes to darken that light.
If you can–call your mother today. Call her and tell her you love her. Tell her you thought of her today for no reason and tell her thank you for all the things she’s done.
A HUGE THANK YOU GOES OUT TO ALL WHO DONATED!
- My original goal was to have and to surpass $200 for Step out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. Today we have reached that goal and raised $292.00
- My goal for my personal tattoo was anything at all. Today we raised $12.00
Much love to Kelly, Deanne, Troy, Kathleen, Sarah, Even, Britanya, Stephanie, Erin, Stephanie again, Lauren B, Elizabeth, Darrell, Hugh, Amy and Shannon.[box type=”bio”] Melissa Pence is wife to the husband and wife team here behind 2 phatgeeks. On December 11th, 2011, Melissa lost her mother to a long, difficult battle to diabetes. In her memory, Melissa is blogging 24 hours in order to raise funds for her through the organization: Step Out: End to Walk Diabetes, and for the personal goal to finish a humming bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her mother. [/box]