I was riding down the road with Mike and the kids and he mentioned to me that he had seen the culprit behind my damaged flower beds....a chipmunk who has been living in one of my azaleas. He was caught red handed.
As soon as Mike told me this I turned to him and said, "did you scold him thoroughly and tell him to stay out of my flowers?!"
He laughed but I was immediately struck at what I had said. It's almost like it came out of my mother's mouth. That is something she would have said and she would have said it just that way too.
I try very hard not to think about what things would be like if she were here right now but I couldn't help but feel a little sad (and maybe just a tiny bit sorry for myself as well) that I couldn't call her up and tell her my chipmunk story. I'll bet she would have said exactly what I did. I am glad that I have some of her in me. I wish I had more.
I think the hardest thing about losing my mom is all the things I never asked her, all the things I didn't take the chance to learn! My mother could do it all. She was so talented in so many areas. There are so, so, SO many things she could have taught me: how to sew, read music, crochet, garden...just to name a few, make Christmas ornaments and peanut brittle.
The main things I didn't learn were how to be a strong, self-less woman and mother. Eleven years battling cancer and I really don't think I ever heard her complain about it.....ever! She got up every day, washed dishes, fed animals, got me off to school, got to work late so that she could drop me off instead of me having to ride the bus, worked all day, waited in the parking lot for me to finish cross country, cheer leading, theatre and then took me home, took care of the house, attended all my games and performances. I'll never forget in my senior year, it was my final performance for a play I was soloing in. She had been in the hospital with a failing liver, knowing, I'm sure, that her time was coming close. She forced them to release her from the hospital so that she could come to see my play. Immediately after the play she had to return to the hospital, hardly able to walk.
I wish I had have absorbed more of that strength. I don't think I'll ever be half the woman she was.
In my weakness, I start to think about the things I hate about her being gone. Mostly, I hate that my children and my husband won't know her in this life. I hate that I can't just have lunch with my mother, go visit for the weekend, call her up when I'm having a bad day, all the things that I miss so, so much!
I am so thankful that I had her as a mother. She was the greatest woman I've ever known. I would like to hope that I've inherited more from her than just silly things to say about chipmunks (or any garden pests). If I could have just one of her many positive traits, I would consider that to be an accomplishment.