When We Lose Someone
“When we lose someone we love we don’t lose them all at once but a piece at a time.”
Mom had cancer. Lung cancer. The kind you get from smoking a pack of Pall Malls everyday for 45 years. She beat the disease once- having half a lung removed but 2 years later it reared its ugly head and within a month she was gone.
Then came all the firsts. You know, the first Mothers Day, the first Christmas, the first birthday, the kids birthday—all those firsts without mom. My birthday was probably the biggest kick in the gut because it always included a shopping trip and lunch date that we both looked forward to. No more. Through the years life has had lots of joyful moments. All the moments we look forward to as parents. The piano recitals, band concerts, senior proms, high school graduation.
The joy is never full anymore. A piece at a time is very real to me. When my daughter was getting married—that moment when she tries on the perfect wedding dress for the first time. That moment has been sealed in my memory. I could not help but think of mom. Neither her or I had a big wedding so this was one of the first in our famiy. Her granddaughter—her pride and joy—having helped raise her the first 2 years of her life since she was not just her grandmother but her live in nanny. My joy was not full because Mom was not there to share this with me.
A piece at a time.
But just as a piece at time we lose a person we love—a piece at a time the memories flow back to us.
Mom’s greatest trait (besides always giving unconditional love) was her wisdom. Mom did not give advice unless asked. She had the ability to keep her mouth shut. When asked, though, she had wisdom not unlike King Solomon. My kids would say I, unfortunately, did not inherit that trait!
One day I was having a dilemma at work. I needed wise words---the right words. Words that would help-not hurt. I started thinking “What would Mom do?” “What would Charlotte do?” And the words were there! Somewhere in my mind I was able to pull a memory of one of the many times I had witnessed her being the healer, the comforter, the wise one. I knew what to say. A piece at a time we lose someone, but also a piece at a time we get to call upon memories that can be a source of comfort, joy and sometimes even laughter. Miss you Mom, but so thankful I knew you well and have the memories to prove it.