When I was younger I never thought of the day when I would no longer have her. As I have grown older, I have felt her gently returning to take her place beside me.
My memories of her drying my tears, baking cookies together, listening to my prayers, tucking me into bed and telling me she loved me before turning out the light are a comforting trip back in time.
Sometimes when the incomprehensible power of life tries to break me, I remember her loving arms clutching me tightly, her butterfly kisses and how she celebrated everything I did.
After she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she became a prisoner in her body. Her mind was sharp but her body made it impossible to do anything. She often couldn’t speak or sit or eat on her own. I took care of her for 17 years until her death.
She died the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1996. I remember calling 9-1-1 and telling the dispatcher that she had just passed away. She insisted that I administer CPR. I knew this was an exercise in futility but I did as she asked.
I swear I felt her spirit pass through my body. I was convinced it was her way of telling me not to mourn her passing—that she was finally free of her prison and that she would see me again in Heaven some day.
My mother gave my life such a firm foundation that has carried me through the years. When I feel especially tempest-tossed, I recall those 17 years and the courage of my mom.
All I ever wanted was to comfort and soothe her the way she had comforted me. Mom was strong like steel and joyous like the tinkling of chimes dancing in the wind.