To My Mother

I lost my mother 3 years ago today. She had lived a long life. I was prepared. Or so I thought. Until she was gone and I realized you are never, ever prepared to lose your mother. It leaves a hole in your heart that you are never able to fill.

I still miss her. There were so many wonderful things about my mom. Back when I was a kid, she was a working woman when women weren’t generally out in the work force. All my friends’ moms were stay at home moms–the kind that drove them to school and were there when they came home from school. My mother wasn’t because we didn’t have money and to make ends meet my mother had a full time job.

I learned about being a working mother from my mother. I learned about juggling a family and a full time job from my mother. I learned about work ethic and sacrifice from my mother. I learned about putting food on the table and getting the laundry folded and making sure the kids got their homework done and then dragging your ass out of bed to get to work on time from my mother. I learned how not to make excuses from my mother.

I learned from my mother that if you want something in life you have to go out and get it for yourself because no one is going to hand it to you.

I learned about unconditional love from my mother. I learned there is nothing so bad, nothing I can screw up, no mistake I can make that would make my mother love me less. My mother also taught me that I have to own my mistakes and learn from them, that I have to stand and be accountable.

I learned that there is nothing as warm and as comforting as a mother’s love, nothing that will heal you more when you’re hurting. And there is no one who will share your joys and sorrows more than your mother. No one will listen more to you when you need an ear, who will tell you when you’re wrong, who will guide you when you need it, who will thrill to your triumphs and cry when you’re hurt than your mother.

My mother held my hand through childhood, let me lean on her when I needed to, pushed me to become an adult, and let me go when it was my time to fly.

And when it was her time, I let her go, too.

I miss you, Mom.