|My mom on her wedding day|
It was a Saturday morning, like most others that Winter, where my mom would often get dressed-up in her one-piece snow outfit and take off for a while to enjoy the outdoors on her snow mobile. That morning, it was mid-morning when she left...asking me to make sure that our dad got his hot lunch when he came in from doing chores at the dairy farm where we lived. I said I would.
Dad came in for lunch about noon, and we (Dad, my brother, sister and I) all ate and talked about whatever the subject might have been that day. After a bit, Dad headed back out to return to the barns which were less than a 5-minute walk up the road from our house.
I can't remember what I was doing at the time, maybe cleaning up after the meal and doing dishes...but that's of little importance. Suddenly, Dad came back through the kitchen door...crying. My uncle was right behind him. I looked at my dad who was sobbing and looked at my uncle questioningly.
It was then that my uncle spoke...in words that were barely audible, "Your mom is gone, Deb." My mind drew a blank as I knew that mom was gone...she was out riding her snow mobile and I said as much back to my uncle.
"No, Debbie...your mom is dead. She was killed in an accident."
The details came: mom had been stopped on a seasonal use road, waiting to cross over a 2-lane road, when a car came at her doing something like 80 mph. I didn't even need to know the rest of the details...I could see in my mind what had occurred and it made me feel sick inside. The one blessing was that she was killed on impact and did not suffer.
I know I was stunned and in shock...this wasn't real for me. It was a mistake, that's all. Or so I tried to tell myself and my uncle in words that wouldn't leave my mouth.
My brother, who was 8 years younger than me, came out and asked why dad was crying, it was something that we had never witnessed before. I snapped at him and said that our mom was dead. I wish I could take the way that I said that to him...it had to been a slap in the face to a child of 8. My sister finally appeared and she, being younger still at about 6-1/2, understood even less but I know that with her my words were gentler.
As the hours passed, and family members were called to tell them that mom was gone, and then as the next few days passed, with tears flowing from everyone all around me...I could not cry. I wouldn't cry, not until I saw my mom's best friend walk into the funeral home. Then...the tears came like a flood. I can't tell you why seeing this woman allowed me to begin to grieve, but because of her I was able to.
Today, I can tell you that mom was my best friend. I could talk to her about anything and she'd listen to her 16-year old daughter. She loved us kids as much as she loved life...and even now, all these years later...we still miss her in our own ways.
What does sadden me is that my brother and sister never really were able to know her in the ways that I did. She taught me so much...to cook, bake, how to do the various household chores, and the list goes on. I am not sure that I could have carried on without the knowledge that she imparted upon me. I was able to step into her shoes and do most of the things that she did.
For those of you that have a mom still alive...cherish her. You can't imagine the pain and loss that comes with losing your mom. Time heals the pain to some degree...but never the loss.
We love you, Mom.