She nagged. “Have you written your thank-you cards??”
She made this really ugly face whenever I Did something she didn’t agree with (tattoos, piercings, boys, etc.).
She did this really weird thing with her tongue every time she took a sip from a glass (apparently from so many years of playing clarinet and bassoon).
She couldn’t hear a damn thing.
She had begun driving realllllly slowly.
She always had to know exactly whom I was with, their phone number and their parents’ names.
She preferred really cheap beer.
She wore pants at least 2 sizes too big.
She had the worst-case scenario in mind, no matter what we were doing,
She never said goodbye at the end of a phone call.
She was really, really smart.
She was really good at coming up with a Plan B when Plan A didn’t work out.
She took care of her mother when no one else would.
She believed that Jesus loved everyone and it was her job to do the same – no matter their skin color, who they loved, or anything that made a person different from her.
She always had a home full of seasonal decorations.
She valued tradition because I did.
She knew how to Polka dance and did so at least twice a year – once at the Brat Fest and once at Christmas.
She was a brilliant Euchre player and taught me how to play. I’m still not near as good as she was.
She put up with crazy antics from my friends and I.
She supported my dream of becoming a famous photographer, and when that didn’t pan out, she supported my dream of becoming a high school English teacher.
She was my mom and 3 years ago today, cancer took her from this world much too soon. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her or have something I wish I could share with her (a thought, good news, coffee, a glass of Merlot…).
25 years old was too young to lose my mother. I won’t get to plan a wedding, walk on the beach (our favorite place), or watch Talladega Nights (her favorite movie) with her.
But I did get to see her excitement when I was offered my first teaching job, spend what I think had to add up to hundreds of days with her at Disney World (our other favorite place), and dance more Polkas than I have fingers and toes to count.
She was my best friend and I don’t think I truly appreciated that until after she was gone. But I refuse to let cancer win and be overcome with sadness and regret. Instead, I will insist that Mom is the true warrior and remind myself that I was blessed to have spent 25 years with her.