Life as I know it: Everyone needs a mom

8

It still hurts. So bad. Deep down and every single day. I want my mom back.

She was my one and only. She, that gentle, beautiful, kind and caring woman, brought me into the world. She nurtured me, guided and protected me from the moment I was placed in her loving arms. She was my best friend. She was the one person I could tell anything to, even the crazy, sometimes self-inflicted nonsense. And you know what? She never once judged me. Not even when I was 50 pounds overweight complaining that I was starving and needed a snack before dinner. She was genuine, supportive and unconditional. I know it to be true, I had the best mom in the world. And I aspire to be just like her when it comes to how I raise my kids.

She was the glue of my family. The one who held it all together. The backbone. Weekly get-togethers, magical Christmases and extra special birthdays, all happened because of her. And since she’s been gone, there’s definitely been a big piece missing from my life. These child-raising years that I’m currently immersed in have really got me thinking about her. More now than ever before. I mean, I’ve come a long way since the day she left. I couldn’t get out of bed for three weeks straight. But I still wish she didn’t have to go and I know she fought with all of her might to stick around for as long as she could. It just really sucks not having her.

I want to believe I’m more envious than jealous of all my friends who have their moms helping them out on their journey through motherhood. I felt so selfish (but hopeless and helpless, too) having a total breakdown the night before my best friend got married. It was late and we had just finished setting everything up for the big day when she turned to her mom and told her how much she loved her and how grateful she was to have her. That was enough to send me over the edge. My mom’s death was still pretty fresh and I couldn’t help but think of how she would never get to see me walk down the aisle. I’ve witnessed it time and time again. All these girls and their moms. “Oh, I’m just dropping the baby off at my mom’s so I can get my hair done,” or “My mom and I had coffee and it was great.” (Even though she just saw her mom at the weekly family dinner the other night!).

My mom had less than a year (yes, I’m grateful at least she got that) to experience being grandma (we affectionately referred to her as Gran-Grans) but she never got to meet her second grandson. I feel like I’m missing out, but what kills me is that my kids are missing out the most. I can only imagine how she would have enriched their lives. She was outgoing, she had a great sense of humour and she was unconditional with her love. Oh no. Here I go. Here come the tears…

(Top left) When the cancer started to affect my mother's mobility, she would simply sit at the table with my son to feed him breakfast; (top right), she gave him his first bottle; (bottom) this picture is so hard for me to look at. She was admitted into Hospice that day but as you can see my son still lit up her world.

(Top left) When the cancer started to affect my mother’s mobility, she would simply sit at the table with my son to feed him breakfast; (top right), she gave him his first bottle; (bottom) this picture is so hard for me to look at. She was admitted into Hospice that day but as you can see my son still lit up her world.

When I’m about ready to bang my own head with a pot and poke my eyeballs out with a kitchen fork while my five-year-old runs around like a rabid T-rex and my three-year-old just pissed his pants for the second time in an hour and then dumped an entire bag of cotton balls in the toilet, I want my mom. When the house looks like a bomb went off in it and the laundry is guaranteed to take me an entire 24 hours to wash, fold and put away, I want my mom. When I haven’t had a single good night’s sleep in over five years and then awake for another early start only to countdown the hours until bedtime, it’s instances like this that I so desperately NEED her.

I want to ask her if my brother and I acted like the same crazy animals as my children sometimes do. Was I the same? Probably, although I know for a fact my brother was worse. Did she simply pour a glass of wine to cope, no matter what time it was? What tactics did she use to tame us wild beasts? And the potty training business, what was her method? And about the sleep thing, did she need toothpicks to keep her eyes open? These are all questions that will forever remain unanswered. I wasn’t even a year into motherhood before I lost her. I knew she wasn’t going to make it much longer so I spent as much time as I could at my parents with my new baby boy. I conquered breast-feeding with her assistance and constant words of encouragement. We laughed together at the cute sounds he made and marveled at his milestones like eating his first banana, saying ‘momma’ and ‘dadda’ and learning how to stand up by himself. He was taking his first steps the day my mom went into Huntsville Hospice. She passed away on March 11, 2012. She was only 58.

Everyone needs their mom. They are magical beings. They believe you can climb the highest mountain and touch the stars. Moms are there when you need a shoulder to cry on, reassurance that you’re doing a great job or when your fridge needs to be organized. They want to make things easier for you. It’s a deeply-rooted maternal instinct. They want to take care of their babies. And I miss my mom for those exact reasons. My kids want her too. They talk about her. They even kiss her picture. I feel like everyone has a mom right now but me. I know that’s pretty ridiculous because it’s certainly not at all true, but I can’t even help it.

In the big picture, things like spilt milk and dirty fingerprints all over my sliding glass door don’t matter. What matters is the quality time spend with my two kids while they’re still little. While they still want to cuddle and sleep with my sweater and have me read the same story again and again. Even though sometimes it’s hard not to think about the laundry piling up and the dishes in the sink and the unmade beds. Because, in a blink, it all becomes just a distant memory.

Here’s hoping I can be at least half as great as my own beautiful mother…

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8 Comments

    • David. You are such an awesome guy. Thank you for all the support you’ve given me. You take the time to say some pretty wonderful things to me and that means more to me than you know.

  1. well my lovely dear sweet beautiful girl, you’ve done it again…..brought tears to my eyes. Having had the honor and pleasure of having your mom in my life i can honestly say she was one of the best. You were richer for having her as a mom and she was richer for having you as a daughter. Her legacy will always live on through you and Ryan and now your children. She taught you both well, one of her greatest gift to you will always be her laughter and sense of humor and trust me you have that trait. Be strong Laura, always talk about her , tell her story and while you live she lives. Thank you for sharing your mom that was very strong and courageous of you, but hey you are your momma’s girl….i wouldn’t expect anything less . Hugs xo

    • Evelyn. I truly believe you radiate the same beautiful energy as my mom… no wonder you two were good friends. You totally remind me of her and I’m blessed that I ‘found’ you again. I feel lucky! From the bottom of my heart thank you for your kind words and for always taking the time to say something that makes me feel so special. Xo

  2. Christie Knight on

    Another touching story my beautiful friend. You are such a strong, amazing, funny and caring person. I am so blessed to know you and your crazy sweet boys. I’m sure your mom is watching and is as proud and happy as we all are of how great you are as a mom, wife, friend and person. Keep your chin up girl, she will always be there…hugs xo

  3. Ah Laura: You made this old fart cry. I lost both my parents when I was 28. They were 53 and 55. I often wonder how my life and my children’s lives would have been different had they been able to stick around. I cannot tell you how many times I missed their unconditional love and being able to call on them when I most needed their support and advice. I totally empathise with your column.

  4. Your articles are so wonderful to read. Your mom sounds like she was an amazing lady:) I think it’s even more amazing the wonderful life she gave you, even though it was cut far too short, and the beautiful memories you have and will always have. I’m thankful for my mom and her health everyday! She’s an amazing Nana! Thanks Laura for reminding us all how important our moms are. Your mom would be very proud of you as a mom.

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