My mother meant the world to me and I am haunted by the thought that I perhaps never conveyed to her just how much I love her. I miss her every single day and I hope I could tell her that.
The day I lost my mother is one I will never forget. I remember each and every moment of that day with such clarity that I couldn't erase it from my memory even if I tried. From the grey forlorn sky to the leaves of her favorite lilies sagging from the weight of the downpour the previous night, it was as though the earth itself was mourning her departure. And why wouldn't it, she was such a phenomenal woman who spread joy and comfort to all those who crossed her path. Although I've often been told that I look just like her, that's where our similarities end. I can only hope to be even half the woman she was.
While nothing could've prepared me for life without her, I am grateful that she did not have to suffer much. As if to thank her for being a kind, empathetic, generous, warm soul all her life, the universe gently took her away from the hardships of this world. She passed away peacefully in her sleep with the hint of a smile on her face. I've often wondered about the secret behind that smile. Was she dreaming about something? Or was she greeted by someone or something on the other side waiting to take her to the beyond? Whichever it was, I'm glad there was some joy in her final moments. She deserved all that's good in the world. She'd seen enough pain in her life.
Growing up, our mother never left me and my sister want for anything. Our father left us when we were just two little 12 and 9-year-old girls. We'd seen him hurt our mother on many a drunken night, blaming her for everything that went wrong in his life for no fault of hers. Leaving us was the best thing he could've done for us and so we never regretted growing up without a father. Our mother was our everything. That woman singlehandedly raised us without a single complaint. Never once did she let the smile on her face falter before me or my sister, despite the many hardships she faced to provide for us.
Although being a single parent meant having to put her life on hold many years, she never made us feel as though we were a burden to her. She loved us like no one else has and raised us to be well-educated independent young women who'd never have to depend on anyone else. Today, we're both happily married with kids of our own and have thriving careers. She celebrated every victory of ours, big and small, and patiently guided us through every obstacle that's come our way both professional and personal.
She was there for me through every single one of my heartbreaks. She was there to bake a cake for me when I won my first painting contest in school. She was there to patiently comfort me as I freaked out about finding that perfect dress for prom. She was there at all odd hours of the night even after I moved away for work when I'd call her to complain about how unreasonable my boss was being. She was there for it all. Until now.
Who do I go to now when I'm having a bad day? Who's shoulder do I cry on when the lilies in the restaurant remind me of her? Whose lap do I rest my head on when it all becomes a bit too much? To whom do I confess my regrets of not having done enough for her? Whose gentle voice will remind me not to dwell on what I've lost and instead be grateful for what I have? I'm haunted by the thought that I never really let her know how integral a part of my life she was. Did she know she means the world to me? Did she know I'd be so utterly lost without her?
Maybe she did. She had a way of reading our minds even when we tried our best to hide things from her. Perhaps she's still watching over us. Reading these words before I even type them out. If you are, mom, I want you to know just how grateful I am to have been raised by someone as amazing as you. I love you, mom, and I'll miss you every single day of my life.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are a culmination of multiple experiences shared with the author.