My Mother, Always a Guardian Angel

This post is a Six Word Saturday contribution. Please check out Debbie’s source post here.

Today Andy and I are visiting my mom’s resting place in Clifton. Tomorrow would have been Mom’s 67th birthday. Since tomorrow’s weather calls for a messy, wintry mix, the hour commute to Clifton would be unsafe to travel.

My mother is never too far from my thoughts. This year marked some significant life events, and I wish she was physically by my side to celebrate with me. I take some comfort in knowing that my mom is always present in my life. However, the silence left by her absence feels too much.

As Andy and I visit Mom today, I’m going to remember her calm nature during our phone conversations and visits. I’m going to keep in mind how much Mom always wished for the best in my life. She is always my guiding light.

Note: Feature Image taken by Cherryville Photography

Memories of Mom, Ten Years Later

My mother passed away from heart failure 10 years ago, on the 22nd. I still remember that day like it happened yesterday. It was a Sunday, and I was living in Throggs Neck, NY, ready to run and do errands. My phone rang and saw it was my uncle. I loved catching up with my family once a week, whenever possible. In this instance though, he brought the devastating news that my mother passed away.

I couldn’t function, couldn’t think straight. I knew I needed to head to my family’s house in New Jersey immediately, but couldn’t bring myself to get ready. My partner at the time had to pack my luggage so I would be ready for the journey.

What followed that week was very emotional. My aunt and I did the task of updating family members of my mother’s passing. We (along with my grandfather) spoke with the funeral director about the arrangements. I searched through photos of my mother to create a collage of her memories.

I continue to keep Mom in my memories. Over the years I’ve written poetry in her name, and I’ve followed my path maintaining her mantra: ‘Of course you can do it, you’ve worked hard’. I’ve encountered some bumps in my life journey the past few months, yet her words still resonate in my soul.

It’s now been 10 years since that horrible moment, and I still miss her greatly. She’s never too far from my thoughts.

December 1, 2018: Remembering Her Birthday

The beginning of December is always bittersweet. My mom would have been 66 on this day, yet she is no longer with me. I wish I could say to her ‘Happy Birthday’, and have one more conversation with her. To hear her voice one more time. Mom would always take things in stride, and I know that right now she would want me to live my life, not think about many negative things to keep me down. She was always a low-key type of person. Today is definitely a moment to connect with family. It’s a Saturday, which means that I give my family a call to check in. Hopefully my grandparents are in good spirits.

November 10, 2018: Mixed Feelings

A chill is in the air this weekend. I haven’t been outside for a few days, yet I can feel the draft seep in when sitting near the kitchen window. Winter made an unannounced visit to remind autumn that yes, the dormant season is right around the corner.

This time of year brings its blend of celebration and sadness. Celebrations, since Thanksgiving and Christmas brings together family and friends. Sadness due to some of my loved ones departing around this period. December 1 would’ve been my mother’s 66th birthday, and that time is always difficult. Next weekend will be a year since mine and Andy’s beloved beagle Daisy went to the Rainbow Bridge. I still remember the day she passed. I think those memories will always stick with me.

Perhaps I feel so melancholic today due to being stuck in the house most of the week. Cabin fever is a wicked thing.

October 22, 2018: 300 Days

This morning I began looking through the ‘Together for Life’ readings we need to select for the wedding next year. At first glance it feels overwhelming. So many passages to choose from! Some feeling too lengthy, too short, or too limiting. As I spent more time searching, my mind settled somewhat. The readings all were meaningful, I just need to find the ones that will apply to mine and Andy’s big day. The book details the entire service, so I found myself imagining our day as I’m reading each phase of the ceremony. It made me feel a little excited!

There are so many other details that I now need to worry about, such as florals and aesthetics. And finding a way to include my mom in the ceremony. Knowing that she’s no longer here, yet having her with us.

It will soon be August before I know it, and I want my wedding to be a memorable experience.

September 26, 2018: Last Night’s Dream

My mom appeared in my dream last night. She rarely makes an appearance in my dreams, so I pay close attention when she does. I remember feeling happy when I saw her. My mom was smiling, wearing her hair in a long, loose ponytail, and her face was made up lightly. She was also wearing a brown top. I recall me feeling relieved when I saw her, and she was nodding her head and talking calmly. Then in an instant, her serenity shifted into yelling. I don’t remember what exactly she was yelling about, but she went into a tirade. I felt so anxious. This went on for a few seconds before I woke up.

So many emotions went through my mind at that moment. Happiness because my mother appeared in my dreams again after so long. Sadness, because her peace turned into pain. Worry, since I’m trying to interpret the meaning of my dream.  Somewhere deep down, I believe I have an understanding why her emotions shifted so fast. In my daily life, I ask for her assistance in my life dilemmas. There’s been so much happening in my life the past two years, and I struggle to break out of my difficulty. Perhaps this is my mother’s way of pushing me to change my routine. The signs are right there, I picture her saying to me, you need to act. Now.

I always had my mother’s support when she was alive. Although she’s no longer with me, I want to make her proud.

March 24, 2018: Family Time

Today was a day spent with family. Andy and I went to a birthday lunch for his niece this afternoon. She turned 4 years old this week, and already she can’t wait to turn five! Since she begins school next year, it will truly be a milestone event for her and her parents!

After the lunch we went to Clifton, where I visited my mother’s resting place. I make every effort to visit her every month, and since her memorial anniversary was on Thursday, it was meaningful for me to be at her gravesite at this particular time. It was a sacred moment to honor her and reflect on the times we shared together.

March 23, 2018: Friends and Family

Some things I’m thinking about as I’m getting ready today:

  • I may not be able to go to Montclair this evening. I was hoping to attend the talent show hosted by the school I used to work for while living in Essex County, but the timing between getting out of work + commuting from Hunterdon Co. might make things complicated.
  • I’m looking forward to celebrating Andy’s niece’s birthday this weekend. She will be four this week. She’s grown so much. I remember the day she was born!
  • I’m also looking forward to visiting my mother’s resting place on Saturday. It will be after the celebration with Andy’s family. I make it a point in visiting my mom’s resting place once every month.
  • It looks like I’ll be seeing both families (Andy’s and mine) on Easter weekend. Seeing both families on holidays can get a bit complicated, but so far we’ve been able to work it out with minimal stress.

March 22, 2018: Nine Years Later

It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years since my mother passed away. I went through the motions of today: going to work, tending to my left wrist while managing toddlers, doing what I needed to do for the classroom. Sometimes it’s better to just keep my mind occupied, to think about my mom until later, like right now.

My mother was always very reserved, yet I could always tell that she was always very genuine about her thoughts and feelings. When she spoke, her words truly came from her heart. Sometimes I would call my mom and there would be gaps of silence, but we were both involved in each other’s conversation. I know that may sound odd, since two people naturally feel the need to fill in gaps of silence with an endless stream of words. That wasn’t necessary with Mom. We each understood where the other person was coming from.

I know that Mom is always with me, that she’s never far from me. I wish I could speak to her on the phone one more time though, as I’m enduring this struggle with my wrist, and other life situations. Her presence was always memorable. 

End of Evening Thoughts: August 29

  • Andy is the most wonderful man. I wish I could always be in good spirits like him.
  • I hope Ana (my 3 year old niece) is speaking her mind to our grandmother. Watching her is like viewing a mini version of her mom…who’s going to be in big trouble soon! 
  • It would be awesome to have a lengthy talk with my uncle again. Next weekend, perhaps? 
  • Three days until the long weekend! Then visiting Mom, family in Paterson, and friends.
  • It’s been over a month since I saw my mom, and family. Really need to change that.
  • What I would give to speak to my mom again. I really need her right now. She was so resilient in times of hardship.
  • Don’t know what my group will try to pull tomorrow. Always an adventure with toddlers!

    –Cathleen