When I was little, I called my mom Mommy. At some point, I decided Mommy didn’t sound cool enough and I needed to graduate to calling her Mom. I don’t think I was the only one out there that thought this was a rite of passage. With my newfound coolness came an aloofness. I was uncomfortable being seen with my mom too much, I shuddered when she called me her “baby”, and I quite disrespectfully pushed her away (physically and emotionally) when she told me to put more clothes on.
Thankfully, this phase didn’t last long and I came back around. And, of course, there she was, patiently waiting with open arms (both figuratively and literally). A mother’s love is so unconditional; no matter how cruelly her children may treat her at times, she retains nothing but love. (I dread the day my own daughter will yell at me from across the room, “I hate you!”, but I know the day will come. I remember doing this impulsively out of desperation, of course not really meaning it and instantly regretting it every time, but too proud to retract anything.)
One of many little memories.
I’ve been playing memories on repeat recently. Just random ones, whichever ones I can gather. The saddest part of grief, for me, is the feeling that my mother is slipping away. Obviously, her physical body has already slipped away, but I so wish that I could hold onto her memory completely and absolutely. When she died, I wanted to freeze for eternity everything I remembered and everything I felt about her. The way I knew her then, I wanted to know her forever. But that’s just not how brains work, is it? It’s been 15 months and my memories are already fading. I feel like I’m squinting at the blackboard at the front of a huge classroom. Maybe I’m just being dramatic (That happens from time to time). It’s not that I’m forgetting everything. I remember almost everything…vaguely. Some memories are clearer than others. Bits and pieces are crystal clear.
I have found myself on occasion straining to remember what her voice sounds like. Then desperately clicking through old videos to remind myself.
One night, in particular, I remember. Someone had asked me that day what my favorite flower was. It used to be irises; now it’s roses. I’m fickle. And then my thoughts wandered to my mother, as they often do, and it dawned on me that I didn’t know what her favorite flower was. It stabbed me in the heart like a knife that I couldn’t ask her.
I suppose I’ll have to write that one down on my list of questions to ask her in a hundred years.