My Mom

This isn’t what I was going to write about today, day 31 of 31 in the Slice of Life Challenge. I had planned on writing a reflection on the past month of writing, my take-aways, if you will. But damned if the universe had different plans for me.

To unwind after a long day, I sat down to watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. If you are a fan and haven’t watched it yet, stop reading now, as there are some major spoilers in this post. This week’s episode centered around Maggie and her mom, who has cancer. During the episode, Maggie is fighting her mom’s cancer, taking every risk she can to keep her alive, and the steps she takes only end up making her mom sicker and sicker. Her mom ends up stopping the treatment, and later in the episode, she passes.

Just before her mom dies, Maggie says, “She’s gonna go. I’m not ready. I’m not ready.” With tears in her eyes, Meredith responds with, “You’re never ready. You just…do it. Listen to her. Talk to her about whatever she wants to talk about. Record her voice in your mind. Just keep sitting there.” That quote really hit me. Throughout the episode, we see glimpses of Maggie’s journey- the denial, the fighting to stop it, the crushing realization that she can’t, the spending every ounce of time she can with her mom, and the bond between family, blood-related or otherwise.

It was absolutely gut-wrenching. I cried no less than 5 times while watching this episode. I cried because it was an extremely sad story, of course, but it was more than that. I cried because that will be me someday. Someday, my mom will pass. I hope and pray it’s many, many years from now, but the reality is that the pain Maggie experienced will be my pain. Right now, my mom is healthy, active, and leads a full life. She’s not sick, and I hope it doesn’t happen. But in some way, age will catch up to her, like it will to us all, and I will be faced with a devastating loss.

It makes me think about how finite our time is on this earth, and the fact that we need to treasure every moment we have, especially with the people we love. Living abroad means I don’t see my family very often- only twice a year to be exact. I want to make sure that I make those moments count. I want to be more intentional about the time I spend with my mom. I want to listen to her stories, and commit them to memory. I want to learn her recipes, the ones she knows by heart. I want to do things she enjoys, rather than sneaking off to do my own thing. I want to tell her I love her each and every day, because I do, and she needs to know that. I want to tell her thank you for everything she’s done for me, and for being my biggest fan. I want to tell her I know that she loves me so much it hurts, because I can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice. I want her to know how proud I am of her, too, for all the sacrifices and hard work she’s put in to being the best daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, entrepreneur, and friend she can be. I want to travel with her, and show her my favorite parts of the world, so she can see the world through my eyes, and I can see hers light up with the excitement of new experiences, tastes, sights, and smells.

My mom is one of the best people I know on earth, and without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today. She showed me how to be fierce and independent, something I wonder now if she wishes she’d done a little less of, considering I choose to live alone halfway across the world. She supports me in everything I do, and she loves me unconditionally. It kills me to think about a time without her in my life. Who will I call when I need advice? Or when I’m scared and alone? Or when I just want to celebrate? For now, I’m fortunate I don’t have to think about these things. I’ll just cherish the time we do have. That will have to be enough.

I love you, mom.

 

31-day-streak-with-border

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18 thoughts on “My Mom

  1. Adrienne

    I hear you. I have loved abroad and now live across the continent. I try to call my mom every week, but it isn’t the same. She will be 86 tomorrow and every visit she seems to shrink a little more.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I know how you feel. Aging is such a sad thing. It reminds us that we are all only given a small amount of time and we need to live and love to the fullest! Glad you make time to call and see your mom. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Lisa L2L4L

    I for one am so glad the universe had other plans for your final slice, Aggie! I cried reading your stunning tribute to your mom. It’s obvious you have a strong relationship with her. It’s also plain to see why! These moms are our champions, encouraging us with each new adventure. My own mom is 77 and lives in a neighboring state, and I’m lucky enough to spend time with her about every other month.

    As a mom, I have two out-of-state children, and I would be honored at some future time to be on the receiving end of a fine and loving tribute as this. Here’s wishing you many more years together and many special moments to share

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I’m glad it touched you. I was so taken aback by the show and emotions overtook me. This slice poured out. It needed to be written. Glad you can see your mom do often. Treasure your time with her!

      Reply
  3. Judy C.

    Such a special slice as a tribute to your mom. She is lucky to have raised a daughter who recognizes all that she is and has done. My Mom passed many years ago and I still miss her today. We continue to live on because of our parents thru the memories that we make over the years. I hope you share this slice with her to let her know how important she is in your life. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Thank Judy! I’m sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose a parent and I would imagine the pain never really goes away. The memories are a way for them to live on. You’re right about that!

      Reply
  4. elsie

    You never know where a slice will come from. I don’t watch that show anymore, but I understand the emotions behind it. I, too, try to take advantage of the time there is to be with my mom because I know she won’t live forever. Any mother would be proud to have your words written about them.

    Reply
  5. Leah

    It’s hard living away from your mother. Talking via video is regularly is great but it’s just not the same as face to face. We just have to make the time we do spend with them count.

    Reply
  6. isbergamanda

    This post really hit home with me since I only see my family in the summers. I really want to make sure that I spend more quality time with my family. Last summer, I took my mom to Vegas and this summer I think my whole family will go camping together, but I want to do more. I love your idea of taking your mom to see your favorite places in the world. I hope I can bring her somewhere fun next year!

    Reply
  7. shellymkeller

    Beautiful tribute to your mom. You never know when a writing opportunity will pop up! Glad the show gave you inspiration to write about your mom. Loved reading your blogs!

    Reply
  8. lindabaie

    My mom passed quite a few years ago and I miss her. We lived far apart, but you know what, we talked often. I often said that we had a great phone relationship. I saw her a couple of times a year, like you, Aggie. Now, although she lives in town, I talk to my daughter every day. We see each other a few times a week, but the conversations are special, too. I think your mother would love to read this special post you wrote for her. I loved every word!

    Reply
  9. Alice Nine

    We can never prepare for those moments, not really. And when they come (and they will because everything that lives must die… I learned that as a first grader when my teacher died in our classroom), there is strength. My mother always told me that strength is not something you have all the time; it is something that comes because there is need for it. My mother lived her last 16 years with me and my husband and kids. We had a great relationship. I travel much with work and when she got sick and we knew it was not good, I prayed that I would be with her. I was. Our last words to each other were “I love you.” I am forever grateful God answered that prayer. I still miss her… but I am who I am because she was who she was and, therefore, she is always with me. Be intentional … share life because you can, not because some day you won’t be able to. Hugs!

    Reply
  10. karpenglish

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. It made me a bit teary-eyed, and I think I will call my mom over the weekend. I only get to see her once a year, and I agree, it is too infrequent, and too hard to think about that time being finite.

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Letter M #AtoZChallenge | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

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