Yesterday my mom would have turned 68 years old. I wanted to call her, I wanted to tease her about getting old. Wanted her to tease me about being 50 and having a son that is 30 but that didn’t happen. It couldn’t happen. I have been around death since birth, growing up with a family of funeral directors. It was just a fact of life. You are born and you live and you die. Death is part of the routine. No one but Jesus and Elijah were exempt. Even Lazarus had to die a second time.
My mom and I did not have the greatest relationship in the world. Often separated, we went from when I was 14 until I was 18 without speaking and didn’t really reconcile until I was 20 and had Patrick. Even then it was not always ideal. We were very different people. Working together at the funeral home didn’t help us; in fact it made us rather sick of each other. There wasn’t much to share at family holiday dinners.
When I moved to Ephrata, WA to pastor there we became closer and then when her brain cancer was diagnosed, I traveled to and from as often as I could to help. I always fell into the caregiver role.
When we answered the call to move to Missouri, I think I broke her heart. She cried but I knew this was God calling us. We talked often. Sometimes too often and she would call to ask silly things multiple times of the day. I flew out when I could as often as I could. We would skype with her, me and Peyton (my grandson).
We walked through some family issues together that could not be fixed that devastated her and never were reconciled. She called me one day with the news of esophageal and liver cancer.
Stage 4, there were no words. At that time she wanted to fight, so I was with her. She was going to fight for a continued life. She was going to fight for our Peyton, her great-grandson.
I went to see her once to go over her wishes, show my step-dad how to do things (chore upon itself), and go to doctor. While we were there we took a trip to Ephrata to visit my bestie. At breakfast I receive a call that she had an embolism. We rush back to Pasco and I sat with her for 3 days in ICU. We talked, we shared, we apologized, and she was my momma.
When we left to go home to Missouri; she and I knew that would probably be the last time I would physically see her alive. We skyped a few times after that. She got tired, her body even more so. Her last day, my son, Peyton’s mommy, and my dad had me on skype by her side all that day, 10 hours; I talked to her, talked to them until her passing.
Now I would give anything to argue with her, to have her call me over and over, to see her. I miss her. We were not always good together but she was my mom. I nicknamed her The Momma…so The Momma Happy 68th Birthday.