My heart hurts. My Mom has passed away.
I've been away from my home, and my computer, for the funeral and time with family. While my beliefs are unfaltering and my interests are still the same, I never quite realized how much everything else is so meaningless in times like this.
I'm torn as to what I should share with you, and exactly how much. From my previous post, Letter To My Mother, you already know she was a devout Christian. Her entire existence was an extrapolation of her faith. She spent over thirty years studying, researching, analyzing and writing about the Bible. Mom has one published book, had plans for at least two more, and she was a prolific writer on a personal level. She loved her God, her family, her friends, her home and her cats. But oh how she loved her God. No matter how devastating things might have been at times in Mom's life, she never lost sight of her faith.
I suppose you could say it's my fault. In the late 1960's Mom was an encyclopedia salesperson who liked to target homes with children, and I was an innocent five year old riding my bike on the sidewalk. She asked if I lived nearby; I answered yeah, follow me, and raced back the opposite direction before she could get her car turned around. Mom managed to follow me though, met my Dad, and eventually married him. You see, "Mom" was step-mom to my younger sister and I, and the only Mom we ever really knew. My Dad would later quip that most kids normally drag home a cat or a dog, but I had to drag home a Mom, and his wife.
I must admit, most of those years growing up with Mom were rocky. There always seemed to be tremendous lows and tremendous highs. Seldom, it seems, were there times that were just normal, whatever that would be. It was a roller coaster. What hasn't been revealed to you until now, is that Mom had Bipolar Disorder. I believe it was present, although relatively mild, throughout the time I was being raised, but undiagnosed until years later. I should emphasize that the good times are dominating my thoughts right now. Berry picking, family vacations, picnics, camping and lazy afternoons at the lake. Mom was a great cook, and always had a delicious dinner ready at five sharp. She taught me to love and take care of animals, and she gave me the freedom to explore the world around me. Together, my Mom and Dad taught me to love your spouse through thick and thin ... no matter what. Mom was always a person I could talk to, even if it hurt. She taught me that even guys have to express what's inside now and then, and that an apology is better then stubborn machismo. Mom would always give me the straight answers - and angles not considered - no matter how much I tried to rationalize my point of view. Mom absolutely adored my Dad, for 41 years, and I know she loved us kids equally too.
I left my parent's home at seventeen, never to return except for vacations, which we all cherished. In thirty years of vacations I had never visited my parents during Mother's Day until this year, and you can only imagine how poignant that is to me now. Mom's funeral was made very special by the participation of three of my cousins on Mom's side of the family. It was a traditional Christian ceremony of which my cousins made up nearly the entire event. One cousin performed music, one read passages and hand-written notes from Mom's Bible, and the last provided a sermon and lead vocals. The pastor of the church filled in the gaps and provided other necessary rites. Christian indeed, and I would not have wished for anything different. It revered and honored my Mom and the life she stood for. And although I don't believe as she did, I can only hope she found the Heaven and the God she so very much desired.
Well, I was there for Mom's birth into our family, and I was there at her last breath. I loved my Mom; I respected and honored her; and I am really going to miss her.
One Deist Φ