Getting my ears pierced at age nine is still a vivid memory for me. I can still remember the layout of the jewelry store in the mall, the tall chair I sat on, and the sound of the piercing gun right next to my ear. Perhaps the most poignant of memories was knowing that I wasn't yet a teenager, but there I sat at age nine, getting my ears pierced, a rite of passage specifically reserved for a thirteen year old.
A few years before her passing, mom told me that when she was diagnosed with leukemia, she wanted to experience all of the milestones in my adolescent journey, and getting my ears pierced was one of those steps along the way. I was in third grade, just nine years old, when she was given six months to three years to live. It was then that mom decided that breaking her rule of "only teenagers should have their ears pierced" was meant to be broken.
A funny thing happened along the way, though. She beat the odds... big time. It wasn't until 22 years later that she succumbed to her disease.
She witnessed things that she was pretty much guaranteed to miss in her children's lives... summer vacations at the beach, first dates (well, at least for my brother), high school graduations, college graduations, weddings, and the birth of her first grandchild.
Of course, her survival could merely be her placement along the bell curve. But, I also think her zeal and desire for just one more moment gave her the impetus to hang on through some serious complications of leukemia for just one more minute, hour, day, week, year.
Of course I miss my mom. She had a gift of making everyone laugh. We argued A LOT, but nothing more than what is expected from moms and daughters. Now that I have two children of my own, I want to try and keep her memory alive by truly living not just for those years or weeks, but for the days, hours, and seconds. None of us is guaranteed our next breath. Goodness knows, I don't advocate carelessness. If you know me at all, I am nothing but cautious. But, I should try and take stock of things that matter... playing outside with my boys, when I'd much rather be inside reading a book... spending money at the zoo when I really need (okay "want") a new pair of shoes.
I know that I will be successful as a mom if my kids love me only half as much as I loved my mom. And as much as I miss just picking up the phone and hearing her voice, I am so thankful for the time I had with her. I always think of the line, "better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." I was very fortunate to have such a healthy parent-child relationship, and although our time together was cut short, it was full of wonderful, loving memories. What better legacy to leave your children?
Happy Mother's Day!!!
5 years ago