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The past week was the worst one I’ve ever lived through, and it will forever be a prayer of mine to never encounter a worst one.
One week ago today I found out that my mom had died. You always look for “blessings” in these things. It’s as though the mind says, “Hey, you can handle this. After all, she isn’t sick anymore….She died in her sleep…..She’s with her own mom and with Daddy now…” All of the thoughts are comforting to an extent. The same way Neosporin and a Band-Aid are comforting to a cut. It covers it up a bit, making it more tolerable – but it doesn’t heal the wound and it most definitely doesn’t make the pain go away.
This post will have no rhythm or rhyme to it because I have no rhythm or rhyme to me. Not today. I remember when I lost my dad, 11 years ago, it took a while for the darkness to let up – the light was finally switched back on in my life, but certainly not right away. I realize more and more each day how incredibly young my father was when he died – only 54. My mom wasn’t much older than that. When they say, “You never know…,” they‘re painfully right.
In the coming week I’ll post about different things I learned from my mother, as well as different things I heard about her this week.
I believe each family has its own language of love. Some family – like me and my girls and husband say “I love you” everyday – when hanging up on the phone, when those who leave for work leave for work, and at bedtime. We’re mushy, I guess. When my girls were little, they were like little dolls to me and I just said the words automatically each time I looked at them! Some things never change.
My mom and dad’s families were different, so are/were my husband’s. The love was still there, make no mistake about it – it was just said and shown in different ways. Rather than a big hug topped off with a peck to the cheek and an “I love you”, a pat on the back was often the message in full. When my dad would bring home the newest Shaun Cassidy poster and come into my room with “something” behind his back, that was his “I love you!” I knew it then and I know it now. And when I’d watch a western with him (some for, like the 500th time!), and act like it was the most interesting and fascinating entertainment in the world, that was my, “I love you, dad and you’re a lot of fun to hang with.”
My mom and I weren’t as touchy, feely as my daughters and I are – because that was how she was raised. If great big hugs were given out in her family people would wonder if there’d been a terrible diagnosis or something! Love and affection were simply shown in different ways. One of the main ways was always being there when they were needed….always lending an ear and a shoulder. When my daughters came along, everyone got a lot more touchy feely – something about adorable, soft little babies that turns everyone into hugging and cooing machines.
There is no one language of love. I guess that’s what I’m attempting to say. So, whatever your family’s language of love is, I’m just encouraging you to speak it and speak it often. If it’s taking a deli-bought or homemade cake by to a loved one, or sitting and listening (really listening) to their stories, even when they’ve hit syndication – just do it. Make it a point to touch each person as often as you can, and never wait for “tomorrow” to say or do anything. We aren’t guaranteed any tomorrows.
My mom sounded and felt wonderful on Saturday afternoon, but when she went to bed Saturday night, with her much beloved dog by her side, she never opened her eyes again. Ironically, she was even fussing a little about her house – not enough closet space, counter space, or cabinets. She said that this year she WOULD be moving into a larger house. I told her, “Okay, if that’s what you want…” Little did we know then the larger house she’d be moving into.
MAKE. EACH. MOMENT. COUNT.