Lately, I’ve been thinking about whether you ever stop missing your mom after she’s died. My mom passed away in December of 2019, and I still miss her terribly. Even after dementia had robbed her of so much of who she was, I always wanted to call her, hear her voice, and tell her things I knew she wouldn’t remember.
For Mother’s Day, I’d scour Barnes and Noble and Stein Mart for things I thought she might enjoy—a book of poetry, lavender soaps, or a multi-colored scarf. I’d pick out a flowery card that spoke of how much I loved her.
Sometimes I think that I especially appreciated her because she wasn’t always in my life. I was twelve when she married my dad and became my mom. As I said in my semi-autobiographical dance concert, “Flying at Fifty,” she was “the first parent in my life who’d ever wanted the job.”
What a thrill it was to have a mother! I’d come home every day after school to freshly baked cookies and a mom eager to hear all about my day. Never mind that it wasn’t cool to be seen holding your mom’s hand. I held my mother’s wherever we went, as though I was making up for all those years when there was no hand to hold.
My mom had a terrific sense of humor and energy out the wazoo. We’d go shopping for school clothes, and long after I’d collapsed on the floor of a dressing room from exhaustion, my mom would say, “Just one more store!” And when I was in college, she’d make the three-and-a-half-hour drive to my school to take me to lunch—and then drive home again that same day.
She was also an amazing grandmother—loving and lots of fun. My sons adored their “Gargou.”
I know how lucky I am to have such wonderful memories of my mother.
But I still miss her on this Mother’s Day and every day.