The night was very cool and dark. The light reflecting from the moon was the only thing that gave me comfort in this very mysterious place. I felt all alone, surrounded by many people, yet I was the only one living. As I walked around, I couldn’t help but notice all the tombstones with sayings on them about somebody’s loved ones. I walked until I came upon the one that belonged to my mother and knelt down.
Kneeling there, I felt her presence in my heart and the feeling of safety and security came upon me as I thought of how peaceful she was resting with no more pain to contend with. My mom passed away from ovarian cancer. The last year of her life seemed long watching her die slowly, her body deteriorating each day, just waiting for her final moment. I felt my eyes become hazy with tears as I reminisced my childhood.
I thought of all the silly things that we used to talk about and the way she used to hit me in the rear and say that it was just a little love tap. I relived our camping trip we went on to Wisconsin when everything went wrong. The side of the camper collapsed, my brother threw a piece of hot wood chip and it landed on top of the canvas roof, the door broke and we had a string holding the door shut by connecting the handle to the faucet of the kitchen sink. The fun didn’t stop there. It continued with a terrible storm, lightning bolting across the sky and rain pouring down, with all of us huddled inside the camper so scared that we were hardly breathing.
I even remember her getting disgusted with me when we went clothes shopping because I was such a chubby little girl. I can still taste all the food from our family gatherings at Thanksgiving and remember tasting and eating an extra piece of pie in the kitchen while everyone chatted in the family room.
Things changed when she became ill. At first, I didn’t know what was ailing her but I knew that she wasn’t going to get better. I kept smiling so she wouldn’t know I was upset or wondered what it would be like not having her around anymore and where I would go. I was so sad and confused but kept my spirits up for the last thing she needed to see was that I was upset or worried.
I never thought of death until I was forced to deal with it. It was difficult, until she was gone and I knew that I would never see her again. Part of me was relieved because she was in so much pain, I was glad she could finally rest. I know we don’t control when we die, and that everyone has their calling time and her time was then. One day it will be my time.
Sitting here now, I know that my mom lives through my memories of her. I am so very grateful for these memories.
This story is not only dedicated to my mom, it is dedicated to all those whom I have loved and lost and whose memory and love I am blessed to carry with me.
Written by Mara Gerke – 09/28/1979 – Copyright – All Rights Reserved.