Every year this day comes, and every year I am not sure how to acknowledge it. It is like that wonderful inspirational movie that you’ve been waiting to see, because you know that when you do so you are committing to crying all the way through it. Though you can’t avoid a physical date on a calendar as you can avoid watching something in the theater, but it is the only thought that I can relate it to this tension.
September 16th, 2003 was the day that my mother died. September 14th, 2003 was the last day that I saw her, talked to her, and laughed with her. On the 14th we didn’t know that was our last time together, but we knew that it could be. Cancer is an ugly disease and it makes no allowances. So as we sat there on the 14th we could see death watching us… waiting. Waiting with its chilling fingers to make another warm life grow cold.
Time they say is the miracle cure to sadness, but I would protest that this is not the case. With every year, there is another moment, another milestone, that I am reminded my mother is not there to share with her daughter. To hear her laugh, to call her and hear her affirmation over the phone, to look back and to see her smiling back at me. All of these things I have not experienced for the past 14 year, and with every year, I am more painfully aware of it.
I miss her very much. And yes, if you were to ask me, I wish she was here. I wish that she didn’t have to experience a slow and painful death. I wish that she had a full and happy life in her last days, instead of doctor visits, and negative reports. I wish that my last memories of her weren’t her frail and weak body struggling to be one step ahead of death. But none of us get to decide our end, and if we did, would we really choose to face it?
All that I want to say is this; hold tight to your loved ones. Give the kids one more “goodnight” kiss. Dance a little slower with your love. And make sure that “I love you,” leaves your lips often and that their impact goes deep. Life is a beautiful, wonderful, journey and we don’t know when or where our journey will end.