I’ll never love anyone more than my mother
I am a Mother lover. Having done this tribute annually, I again repeat it for this — Mother’s Day. I never loved any creature — big, small, man, woman, gone, not gone, the way I loved my Mother. And in the many lives spiritualists say I may pass through, will I love anyone more.
My grandma, Mom’s mom, came from the old country. A janitress in the New World, she cleaned stoops. Took in boarders. Her husband — a part-time mostly unemployed tailor. My Mother, Jessica, youngest of five children — born in Liverpool. She married a dentist but liked little about him, including his teeth, and divorced him rapidly. An executive secretary, she became a single parent.
She later married a dear man who loved me and sold insurance. Me, sickly, but no matter what — she was always there. She pawned things when we needed other things. Mostly I remember she was always there for me.
Mother was beautiful. Me, not. She had my nose fixed, improved my hairline, made me diet, fed me Feosol tablets for anemia. Gave me speech, posture, acting lessons. In a modeling agency, she said: “My daughter is going to become somebody.” Underwhelmed, they said, “Maybe, but not here.”
At age 8, my class organized a maypole dance in the park. We each bobbed over and under, weaving streamers onto the maypole. The morning was chilly. With all the children there, only my Mother alone came bearing a sweater. I was mortified. Was I not a grown up? No other mothers were babying their children. I hissed at her: “Go away!” She blinked at me. And she went away. But there were tears in her eyes.
This happened civilizations ago. I still cannot wipe that image from my mind.
Final moments so hard
I still can’t believe my Mother is gone. Even in my heart, the word is capitalized. Even when she lay unfocused, unspeaking in that hospital bed inside the country home I provided for her, she was my life.
Even when she no longer knew who I was, I knew who she was. Inside that shell was the stunning, bright, sassy, verbal, vibrant, witty, dynamic, fun-loving killer lady who had been my everything, the core of my being.
When last I hugged her and sensed a finality, icy fear sliced through me. I wanted to crawl into that bed. But no room. Terrified I’d frighten her. Or worse, the bed would collapse.
So I pressed close. Flat. I could only stroke that small once gorgeous head remembering when it was full of information. Big, strong, knowledgeable and featured that powerful mane of thick red hair. It was tiny now. The hair white. Sparse.
She no longer knew my name or who I was. She couldn’t speak. When I leaned close, her eyes didn’t flinch so, maybe, somehow in her deepest recesses she sort of sensed mine was a friendly being.
All I could do was stroke her forehead. And place against cold steel bars of that hospital bed a stuffed teddy bear so those curled hands might touch something soft.
I’m an only child.
I married in my teens. So we were four. Then dad went. We were three. Next, my husband, and then we were two. Now I’m one.
It’s tough to lose your Mother. It’s still tough.
I’d do without everything to give her a gentle, easy, slow-moving hug today. One that wouldn’t frighten her. One that couldn’t be returned. Or even understood.
As I’ve repeated each Mother’s Day, for whatever reasons there exist wide gaps between many a Mother and child in different families. Not for any of us to sit in judgment.
It’s just that — if it’s within your ability — call. Tell your Mother you love her.
I wish I could.
I can’t anymore.
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