Still Missing Her

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa

Do you remember being a kid? I know. I know. It’s been a long time for me too. Still I get flashes of memory. They come at the strangest times with no obvious trigger. My hand gripped in my mother’s. The first day of school. We were both dressed in our finest. We were new to the country and neither one of us spoke the language so we had no other way to impress or, more correctly, to show that we were good enough to belong. I suppose we figured if they liked us, we’d be accepted.

 Other memories come: my mother tucking me in beside her whenever I was sick; my mother finding us a ride to the hospital after I broke my arm (she never drove and my father was at work), my mother saving dimes and quarters from her weekly shopping money to buy me a book or a special dress for school, my mother setting up our home and yard to be the neighbourhood hangout so she could watch over me. I could go on and on. One recollection encourages others and I’m suddenly a witness to brief scenes from my life.

But with this nostalgia, other memories come too. Ugly ones. I’m a teenager. I’m embarrassed by my mother’s accent; I’m ashamed of being different. I want to be like every other Canadian kid. I want to have an ordinary name, or what I used to call normal then. I want to go camping and skiing and out for Halloween like other Canadian kids. I no longer understand my parents and basically want nothing to do with them. I’m nasty and self-absorbed.

My mother is resolute. She refuses to give up on me. I push away. She pulls back.

Luckily she won.

This week marks the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death. There isn’t a day I don’t think about her. It’s difficult to write that sentence without breaking down.

I’ve been mentioning her more in the last few weeks. The snippets of memories that come (both good and bad) shape my ache. I realize as long as I live, I will never stop missing her. While it hurts like hell, it’s a good thing to feel so deeply. Or at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself of as I write this blog.

I am less for not having her in my life. I miss that single drop in the ocean of my life. But at the same time, I am so much more for having had her as my mother. For this I am forever grateful.


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