My amazing mother passed away on Memorial Day, 2010. She had been sick, but her death was still unexpected. The guy I was dating at the time drove me (while I was weeping uncontrollably) nine hours to be by her side, but she wasn’t conscious by the time I got there. She died shortly after we arrived that night. I was crushed, and her death ushered in a long period of depression that I should have sought professional help for.
For the last nine years, both Mother’s day and February 18th (her birthday) have been very difficult for me. For the first few years after she died, I wasn’t able to work on those days because of how emotionally destroyed I was.
Nine years later, I can finally manage to get through a work shift on Mother’s Day, but I still miss her more than anything or anyone I’ve ever missed before. She and I were incredibly close, and it pains me that she won’t be there when I get married, or have kids, or even just when I need wise advice. I miss talking to her, I miss her stories, and I miss her sense of humor.
My mother read voraciously. I still haven’t met anyone that reads at the speed or volume that she did. On a day off from work, it was nothing for her to finish two or three books and still retain everything that happened in them.
I’m not that talented, but between her and my father, I grew up surrounded by books. I’m very thankful for being raised with access to plenty of literature and parents that read a lot.
My mother introduced me to The Hobbit, which is still my favorite book. I remember her large art books about fairies and gnomes that lent me plenty of fuel for my childhood imagination. (Even all this time later, Alan Lee, whose art makes up the majority of the book about fairies she had, is still one of my favorite artists.)
Every week we would drive thirty minutes to the public library, both of us leaving with armfuls of books that we’d have finished by the following week.
Aside from fantasy, we read different books. I opted for science fiction while she would read romance and contemporaries. One of the reasons books are so special to me, though, is because she taught me how to appreciate reading. I’ll never forget that, and when I have children of my own I hope that I can instill the same love of reading into them.
If your mother is still with you, please call her today. Tell her you love her. Never take having her around for granted.