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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mother's Day, part 1: My Mom

There is no way I could combine all the thoughts I have about this Mother's Day into one post, so I have to do this in two parts. Hope that's ok, Kara...

It's difficult for me, still, to write about my Mom. I started to write sort of a tribute to her, but it was getting pretty long, and it felt like more of a therapy session than a tribute, so I stopped, and I've had a hard time writing this. She was murdered in 1986, when I was 21 years old and she was 53. Even though it was 20 years ago, it still feels like yesterday, and hardly a day goes by when I don't miss her. But at the same time, I've really enjoyed thinking about her a lot over the past few weeks while trying to come up with a way to blog about her.

My Mom had such confidence in me. She knew that I could be anyone or do anything that I wanted in this life, and she instilled this into me when I was a teen-ager. She backed this up by her own example - my parents' relationship was really dysfunctional, and for a long time she was the slavishly devoted house-wife to an abusive drunken asshole. When I was 8, and she was 40, my father came home one night, hours late, roaring drunk, and demanding his dinner. My Mom came out and dumped it over his head. The next day she enrolled in community college and continued on to university - eventually earning her nursing degree, then her Master's degree, and building a successful career for herself from scratch, while basically raising 5 kids on her own.

Even though I was in a lot of trouble half the time growing up (and when you were in trouble with my Mom - you were in big trouble), she somehow never lost faith in me. I think that in a lot of ways, going through all those things made my Mom & I closer. I stayed with her for a few months after I got out of the Army, but I was anxious to go back out to California - to see a girl I had met out there, and to get a job, and otherwise make my fortune in the world. We had argued a bit about that, and I think she was unhappy that I was leaving again. She dropped me off at the airport, and we gave each other a fierce hug, and I said "Don't worry about me, Mom". She said, "I don't worry about you, Kev. You are the only one I don't worry about". That was the last time I saw her alive - she was killed a few months later.

For 20 years I've wished that we hadn't parted like that. I wish I hadn't been such a shit when I was a teenager. I wish she could have seen me grow up to be a responsible grown-up, with a good job, and a mortgage, and a good head on my shoulders. I wish she could have been there on my wedding day, and met my wife. I wish she could meet her grand-daughter. I wish a million things that just can never happen.

But I carry her around with me, always. I know - I've always known - that I can do anything I want to do in this life. And I know that I can change everything in my world if I don't like the way it's going - because my Mom set an example for me. I hope I can instill that same sense of self-confidence in my daughter. I hope I can set anywhere near the same sort of example. Sometimes when Yoyo looks at me a certain way, I swear I can see my mother's eyes in hers.

5 Comments:

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous MetroDad said...

I'm sorry for your loss, my friend. Sounds like a tragic thing to have to experience...at any age! Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful woman. Beautiful tribute to her.

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Angry Dad said...

A very powerful post. I'm sure she's lookin' down on you and is mighty proud!

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger Arwen said...

How very tragic, I too am having problems putting together the post for mothering, my mom and being a mom. My mom died 2 years ago I think I may miss her more now than right after she died.

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Kara said...

that was crusgingly beautiful. I'm sorry she's not here. You succeeded in paying her one hell of a tribute, though.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

I too am sorry for your loss. That is so tragic; I can't even imagine. Your tribute was truly beautiful.

 

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