An ode to my mother, for all those who still have theirs

Guest Column

When mom died, I grieved for the woman who had become my best friend and, somehow in the process, discovered myself.

I’m 55, but it wasn’t until mom died this February that I finally felt like a real adult.

She watched my hair turn gray, my Multiple Sclerosis advance, my achy bones set in and my children grow into fabulous adults. Yet to mom, I was always her little girl.

At times now without her, I feel like one. I’m old enough to be a grandmother myself, but the slap of loss leaves me heaving with real sobs like a five-year-old at odd moments.

After more than half a century together separation is sometimes staggering. I grieve for a woman who not only made me the perfect soft boiled egg with Ritz cracker until I was in my 50s, but also grew into my drinking buddy (dry white wine with only two ice cubes), staunch advocate, staunch adversary and the most loyal girlfriend I will ever have.

No one loves a daughter like her mom, even during the times it doesn’t feel like love; when it contradicts, confuses, annoys, smothers and pisses you off to no end. It was always from love.

Mom was my mirror image and my anchor. She was the person I counted on to push the hair out of my eyes, buffer me from bullies and hesitation and to lead the way. I think all three of us — Jon, Vicki and I — looked to mom to lead the way. As selfish as it sounds, and as hard as it actually was, I was lucky enough to be able to give back as she ended up looking to me to lead the way for her.

She had finally managed to escape her self-imposed prison of “having to handle everything by herself” and gave into letting me care for her. It made it so much easier physically but so much harder emotionally at the same time.

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