Recently there has been a new ache.
It’s almost been 12 years since my mom died, since cancer robbed this world of one of the greats. Some days pass now where I don’t think about her. Some days pass where I don’t get work done because she’s all I can think about. Recently I have had more of that, more of thinking about her.
I miss getting to know her.
I miss being surprised by her.
I miss trying to understand her.
I miss the 15 year process I got of getting to know her. It wasn’t enough.
The thing that is so hard right now is that I miss so badly learning new things about her.
After my moms first brain surgery she was left with new struggles in how she processed thoughts. She would have a difficult time getting the thought in her head out of her mouth. She was so patient with herself and with others trying to understand what she was trying to say. When she was struggling to get a point across she would always say, “You know…the thing.” And we would laugh and respond, “Oh yeeeeeah! The thing.” She would laugh so hard! She would laugh even harder when she would get her words mixed up and call a frosty whiskey on accident, this coming from a woman I never saw take a drink. But I know it was hard for her to not be able to communicate the way she wanted to. I would give anything to try to understand her now.
As I grow into my later 20s I think about what she was like at my age. She was married with 2 kids. She was a full time mom, she was exactly where so many of my friends are right now, juggling her kids, home, and marriage. My life looks very different and I so wish I could ask her about it. Feeling different from her makes me feel like I know her less, I know that’s not true but that’s the new ache.
I am feeling the distance between here and eternity grow and I don’t like it.
I wonder what our adult relationship would have been like. I wonder what new things I would have learned about her. What was she keeping to herself until I was older? Did she have tips on dating or expressing your feelings? [Because I could use those.] What profound words of wisdom will I never know? I miss getting to know her. I miss the process that I so often take for granted in my other relationships. The simple toggle of question and answer, the profound act of listening. Gosh I miss her voice. It is my greatest fear that one day I will forget it.
If you are reading this and you knew my mom I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear what you remember about her, because I would love to get to know her more.