Please bear with me for a bit. A chunk of this was written on the plane coming home from saying goodbye to my mother a week after she passed away. All the while a young boy kicked the back of my chair the entire flight, and I was overwhelmed with a million emotions, and I am partaking in a few adult beverages while I type this. Maybe it is not the best idea but it is my blog and my pain so, deal with it.
This past weekend was physically and mentally draining as well as eye opening. I have always been close to my mother, but like most children I guess I never "really" understood her true impact on the world. To be completely honest, I was humbled and a bit embarrassed. Embarrassed for myself for past feelings of frustration and jealousy towards others.
I have heard other people ever since I was a child call "my" mother Mom, or say that they were her "adopted" children. This always bugged me she was my Mom, not theirs. Especially after my parents moved to Virginia and then I moved my family half way across the country. It was a decision I made with my children's best interest at heart, but it was a tough decision to live with and I always felt guilty about it.
This past weekend I met and listened to people who's lives were affected by my parents. One family in particular that I felt like my children and I were being replaced by and in the past, I did not really understand. Well, I spent time really listening to their testament of what a difference my parents made and that they were given love and hope from them. How could that ever be wrong? I spoke to another "adopted" that were at the point of being evicted until my parents helped them get on track and in my Mom's last days these people were there to help her in any way they could.
I had a long conversation with their priest and members of the community where they live. With whatever faults we all have as human beings, I know that there is a huge void in this community and in many hearts today. It will take a team of people to fill that void. I hope others pick up the torch she lit and carry on the work she did. paying it forward with the less fortunate, the hungry, the misunderstood, and misrepresented.
There are things I selfishly wish she did differently in her life, but that is not for me to say. In the same way; I know she was not happy thinking that I "lost my way from the church" but I hope she ow knows that I am not on a very different path and that it is okay to be spiritual without the religious part. I do not claim to have all the answers but I feel that I do the best that I can. That deep down she knew that.
Most important, I got to spend a few days reconnecting with my Dad. I am comforted that he has a strong bond with his community and that they will watch over him when we can't be there. I will be honest, I don't know how he can be so strong. They were married for 53 years and my wife and I have only been together for 5 years. I do not want to walk a day on this earth without her, so I can only imagine the pain he feels.
In closing I would like to thank my family and friends who have allowed me to see by their light while mine has been dim. One thing is for sure; the deeper the love, the stronger the pain. Take this opportunity and if you love someone, tell them. Do not wait until tomorrow because they might not be there. If you are a part of my life I want to thank you for being there for me.