Happy Mother’s Day
Yesterday I had the great fortune to spend the day with my mom. There were many years that I lived far away and we could only honor the day with a phone call and a funny card. So I enjoy being able to spend the day with her- Mother’s Day or not.
My mom is strong, no nonsense, practical to a fault and has a wonderful sense of humor. Part of that is the result of having four children that really didn’t censor themselves around her. My mom loves being a mom. I always felt that we came first but she was also willing to take the hit and didn’t mind being the unpopular one if she thought it was for our benefit. My mom has loved watching her children grow and both she and my dad have supported us in whatever wild dreams we chose to pursue and cheered us on from the sidelines.
Just over twelve years ago I sat with my mom and my brother Kevin in a hospital room and it was apparent that there was little left to be done. It seemed highly unlikely that we would get another miracle that bought us a little more time. As Kevin’s breathing became more labored and he looked so tired, my mother gently told him that it was ok. If it was time for him to let go, that was ok. She said she didn’t know she would arrange flowers, decorate the house, or pick a paint color for the living room, but that she was sure he would get the message to her somehow. He smiled weakly from behind his oxygen mask.
Once again, my mother put her child first. It was the most beautiful display of selfless love. Shortly thereafter, Kevin’s morphine was increased to keep him comfortable and he passed the next day. During that time my mother, ever supportive, kept his shoes near his bed just in case he decided to pull one more miracle.
In our family we do not say that we lost my brother. Our motto is that no one is lost or has truly died until you stop talking about them. We talk about Kevin often, usually with a smile on our faces. We share stories with each other as well as friends and other family whether they had the great fortune to know him personally or only know him through us.
This is not to say that there are not moments when we miss having him physically present. I know, on those rare occasions when we can all get together and my mom is surrounded by her children and grandchildren, she cannot help but feel that Kevin is missing. But she does not consider herself part of a dreaded club of parents who have lost children. Rather, if asked, she will happily tell you that she has four children.
Yesterday I had the fortune to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. My brothers Doug and Chris called to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day from Virginia and England respectively. I am sure that Kevin, in his own way, wished her a Happy Mother’s Day as well.