Saturday, January 21, 2012

Remembering Mom on her Birthday

I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling through my head and heart today. Today is what would have been my mom's 60th birthday!

For those of you who are new to my blog, my mom passed away when I was 8 years old from breast cancer. She was only 32 when she was first diagnosed. This year has been particularly hard for me because I am now 32. My son is the same age I was when my mom was diagnosed. It is hard to imagine what she must have gone through. Now that I am a mom myself, I can not even begin to imagine what that would have been like. And the thought of it terrifies me.

My Mom and Me
I guess what amazes me even more than the fact that she got breast cancer, was her upbeat attitude about it. I know I have a skewed perception of what she was going through since I was only a child, but if I remember nothing else, I remember her always being there for me. And even going above and beyond in so many ways. She sewed clothes for me and my dolls. She was my Brownie Troop leader, she attended my brother's sporting events. If it were me, I don't know that I would have even been able to get out of bed.

My Mom in High School

On anniversaries like this, I often find myself playing the "what if" game. I know it doesn't get me anywhere and it is hardly productive, but it is hard not to. What would my life be like if she hadn't died when I was so young? Would I live in Arizona? Would I have chosen a different career path? Would we be best friends? Would I be a better seamstress? Would I know how to crochet and knit? Would we have had a falling out in my teen years as so many kids and their parents do?

My Mom with me and my two brothers
Would I be a different person? Obviously the answer is yes and no. I would be a completely different person than I am now, and I would also be the same. These are the thoughts that go through my head. Are they logical? Probably not.

I was talking with my husband today about it being my mom's birthday. My son (age 5) overheard our conversation. Here is what he said,

     Thomas: "Did your mommy die?"
     Me: "Yes."
     Thomas: "But today is her birthday?"
     Me: "Yes."
     Thomas: "Are we going to celebrate it?"
     Me: "No, we aren't."
    Thomas: "But every year when someone has a birthday they grow and grow."

How do you respond to that? It breaks my heart each and every day my children have never met my mom. And there are fleeting moments, when I will look at my son or daughter and see my mom's face staring back at me. I try to make it a point to talk about my mom to my kids, but I hardly knew her myself.

Favorite picture of my Mom with her brothers
She looks so happy!
I miss my mom. I wish I could give her a hug. I wish she could come over and take care of me when I am sick. I wish she could hug and hold her grandchildren. I wish she could have met my husband and seen me get married. I wish I could have her over for a weekly dinner. I wish for so many things.

But most of all, I wish my mom a Happy Birthday up in heaven! I know she is smiling down on my brothers and me right now.

I love you, Mom.