I go out walkin' after midnight

As many times as I have tried to honor my mother's legacy on the pages of this blog, I never recall a more perfect sentiment than I saw on my sister's facebook page this morning. She had posted the song which titles this blog, one of my mom's favorites. I can distinctly remember her singing the lyrics to this Patsy Cline classic many times throughout my life, both when I was a child and into adulthood. Her voice was comparable to the late country star's who, like my mother, left this world far too soon for anyone to understand. Seeing those words posted on Angelia's profile this morning instantly brought back those memories, putting a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. Thank you for that Sis, it was a great way to start my day.

It has been 3 years since we lost her to cancer. In some ways it seems like it was only yesterday, and in others it feels like a lifetime since I was standing in that hospital in Illinois, all of our hearts breaking as she left us. This year is the first year since that I have not made it back to be by her side on this day, though I am sure she understands. The new job only started on Tuesday and taking a day away in this first week just wasn't possible. But at 1:41pm, I stepped away from my project as the moment came. I sat in my car, thinking about that day and the three years that has passed. Miss B commented this morning that she cannot believe it has been three years, and my thoughts led me to think how life has changed since then. Three short years ago I was a different person than I am today, and when she passed it began a downward spiral that would see me become a shell of myself and rebuild my life on my terms. Today, when the time came and went, I thought about how my mother went through hell and back before she attained the life she had always dreamed of. And I thought of how my path has been a roller coaster as well, and that I hope she is proud as she see's me now in this place of happiness I have found. It has been a long journey and, while I cannot be sure it is close to an end, I do know the heavy lifting is behind me. I think my mother probably had that realization herself at some point as well.

In the last 36 months there have been a lot of people who have had an impact on my life. Some positively, some negatively, and some a little of both. When I started the fall a few tried and true friends were beside me. Along the way some have fallen off and new ones have emerged. Some stayed for a short time and others look like they are in it for the long haul. But I have long heard the theory that people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am grateful for all. And being quite convinced that my mother may have placed a few of them there makes them all the more special. She was the driving force behind me re-connecting with a tremendous friend and member of the family a few years ago, and I believe she was speaking through someone else and over my shoulder earlier this year when I really did not want to go to the doctor. I kept hearing these two voices, one from behind me and another from a friend, and it was their persuasion that very well may have saved my life. Well them and a couple car wrecks.

My whole life, especially the last three years, have had the undertone of my mom. I have made some very large mistakes and celebrated some terrific victories. Through it all I think of her everyday and how my life has changed since she passed away. I think of how she hit rock bottom and climbed her way back to the place where she belonged before she left us. And I think of how I am in the process of doing the same thing. It's part of her legacy and a great road map to follow.

Today I also think of my family and how they cope with the ever present absence everyday. My Dad presses forward, living his life for the descendants of his soulmate. My siblings, myself, and our children are so lucky to have him as our patriarch and that he has dedicated himself to his family as he has. My sister, Angelia, lives her life according to examples set by her and my grandmother. I see so much of mom in her and am grateful she is there with my Dad everyday. And my brother Joshua continues to try to find his footing while dealing with the loss of his biggest supporter and best friend. It is not an easy path, as I still catch myself trying to find the way even today.

I recall many people telling me they were "sorry for my loss" in the days that followed this one 3 years ago. And I am sure they were, just as I am sure I mean those words when I say them to every person who has had a fire destroy their home or business when I am working. I also know that the sentiment I am about to share can probably be echoed by most anyone who has lost a loved one, and each would swear that it rings truer in their case than any other. But I am sorry for our loss as well. Because it truly is an enormous loss. I feel it every time one of the kids does something funny and I want to call her. I have felt it every time in the last three years I have fallen and all I wanted to do was talk to my mommy. From the broken hearts to the empty bottles to the long walks after midnight trying to find some sense of understanding for what was going on around me, all of it would have been better if she was here. And now, as I prepare to marry this wonderful woman, I can only think how my mother would have adored her and how much I wish they could have met. As I said, everything happens for a reason. But 3 years out, I am still searching for the reason she was taken from us so soon, while still being so grateful to be one of the lucky three to call her mom.

3 years you have been gone, Mom. And I still here your voice in my head, feel your hugs on my neck, and see you doing that god-awful dance move as if you were right here right now. I love you and miss you. Thank you for staying right beside me through all of this.

Good night all......................

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