My mother is the only person who knew pretty much my whole story and loved me anyway. She fiercely loved me, thought I was wonderful, and said so. She saw my insecurities, failings, and anxieties and knew the root of most of them. She could hear something quake in my voice about four seconds into a phone conversation, and not hang up until I had spilled it all. She sometimes knew weird things about my future and made predictions like an Irish seer. Sometimes they were scarily right on target and sometimes laughably wrong. When my husband didn’t get a job we both wanted for him desperately at BSC, she was perplexed, saying that was his job. In my frustration, I said, yes, I had hoped so too, but there it was. Two weeks later, the new hire was unexpectedly relocated and Tim started work. She described my daughter before she was conceived; I have it written down in a journal. “Very dark, very straight hair, huge kissable cheeks…” she said. “Very Irish-looking, and boy, will she look up to her brother.” Maura did and does. I think somewhere along the line, my mother thought one of my sisters would have twins, but they didn’t materialize. She was into the prophecies of Malachi and was pretty sure we were winding things up here on the planet. Come to think of it, she may have been right about that one. Anyway, it was nice to have someone in my life who looked to the future with a kind of faithful mysticism, who believed there was a plan for me and that it was coming together, piece by piece. I miss that.
“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Ah, Clarence was right about that one. My Mom was a whole mix of quirks, talents, and passions, like everyone, and she wasn’t perfect, but my God she loved us. And she liked us, too, and knew us better than we probably thought she did. The hardest thing as I approach four years without her is the sure and certain knowledge of the fierce love of a mother in my corner. There are only a handful of people walking around today who have known me since I was little, and some of them like me so that’s something. Obviously, I have a jewel of a Dad. But I do miss my mother. Your mother is your first home, your staunchest defender, your touchstone. There’s a lot I would give for one more conversation with her, some guidance, direction, or encouragement about what may lie ahead, some sweet, quiet compliment, one knowing smile. Right or wrong, I’d take it, and it would steady me, I think, and keep me moving forward. Without her, I feel at times like a boat bobbing on the ocean, fairly unmoored.
It’s terrible that she is gone. Some days, I really don’t think I will ever get over it.