I was cleaning a few things off of my computer and found this…… It’s what I wrote for my mother’s memorial service. =/ I still cry, and I can’t seem to finish it without chocking up still. I miss you mom. I miss you so much it still hurts so bad.
I bet everyone is expecting me to say something profound, and moving about who my mother was and what she meant to me. Truth be told I don’t think I have anything profound to say. What I do have to speak about is an unmeasurable love, and an unbreakable bond.
Although my life with my mother was less than ideal, it was no less meaningful, and memorable. Even through the hardships, the pain, and the tears, my mother was in some way always with us, even if it was at heart.
Today my mother does not want us to mourn her death, but she wants us to celebrate her life, she used to always tell me that funerals and memorials were for the living to grieve and come together as family to celebrate life. Today, Friday the 13th, is suiting. It was a Friday the 13th she was born on. All good things happened to her on Friday the 13th, which she passed down to me. I met my husband on Friday the 13th, among many other wondrous joys. It’s suiting that we celebrate her life on a Friday the 13th. Today is about my mother, and her incredible journey, her unmeasurable love and her stubborn strength.
Everything I did in life, from childhood to adulthood into wifehood and motherhood I did to avoid the mistakes my parents made. I worked so hard to change the cycle of life I had been dealt. I did not want to be anything like my parents, or other family members. I did not want my children to endure the same hardships and pain I had to endure. I meticulously and methodically went out of my way to change the course of my life so that my children would one day have a better life than I did. I realized about this time last year when I was talking to my mom on the phone, that outside of different life decisions, I was exactly like my parents in almost every way. Which I realized was not a bad thing. I had their strong love and heart with a desire to help and serve others. I had my mother’s undeniable stubbornness, that meant when I made my decision I more than stuck to it; just as she would I would get passionate about my decision and make sure I got what I wanted and decided on. I had their strong work ethic. I was more like my parents than I wanted to admit. Looking back on it now, I see that I made my mother proud of the women, mother and wife I have become.
In life I never gave my mother enough credit for these gifts she passed onto me, which breaks my heart in more ways than I can scribe. I stand here and I choke when I remember thinking to myself about all of the times I was angry, frustrated and upset with my mom for keeping the entire truth of her condition from me; even though she was SO honest and forth coming with everything else. She would confide in her husband, in my husband, and in my mother in law, especially during the LONG labors I had with both of my sons. Although I wanted my mom at both births so excruciating much, I knew my mom was not doing well and told her to rest and she could come when they were born, or we could take them to see her, what ever she wanted. But she insisted that she be with me when I gave birth to them, because she knew how much her presence comforted me, and how I fed off of her strength to push through the contractions and bring the boys into the world. My mother in law, and mom created a bond, one not found in many families. Who could have imagined? I was and still am so very thankful that my mother had my mother in law to turn to. I still however, could just not understand why my mother would not confide in me, and tell me every detail of her condition.
The day after we had Zech, and we were released from the hospital, we went and had dinner, and picked up Jayden from my mother and father in laws house, we went back to my hospital, where my mom was admitted into the night I was in labor there with Zech, to see her. Let her see, hold and touch her new grandbaby, and love on her older grandbaby. She had gone out of her way to make sure Jayden had a big brother present, it’s one of his favorites, a gift I wouldn’t think of giving, but my wise mother knew better than me, because guess what? It’s one of his favorite toys to play with. He loves hooking the horse trailer with the horse inside up to the truck and make beep beep sounds with it as he drives it all over the house. Looking at my mother overfilled with such love, adoration, and affection over my new son, and Jayden, it suddenly occurred to me. I didn’t NEED to know the truth. I didn’t need to know because I was her child, and she was my mother. She was doing to me, what I do to my boys. She was protecting me from harm, hurt, and pain. She knew I had been through so much of it in my life, and now that I was finally happy with a family of my own, she was protecting me from the ugly truth. The truth that her days were dwindling down faster than I could blink. I am constantly telling Jayden, “No, no Jay, that’s hot,” or “Get back Jay, this is ouchie”, and kissing his boo boos. In the very same way my mom was telling me, “No April, this will hurt you” by not telling me the truth.
See parents are suppose to be our super heros. They are suppose to be strong, and not ever be weak. They are suppose to help heal our broken hearts, and mend our brokenness. It suddenly clicked to me that my mom, my super hero, was protecting me from even more pain than I needed to endure. I am just like her, I am protecting my boys from enduring pain they can’t even understand.
My step dad and my husband can sit there compare notes on who is more stubborn. If my mother or I are passionate about it, we are stubborn about it. Her and I would stand our grounds to the death of us. The Monday before she passed, we had a heart to heart talk. She was so scared of leaving her children, grandchildren and husband. She didn’t want to leave us behind. She especially felt terrible leaving Jayden and Zechariah behind. She loved her grandbabies MORE than anything in this world. They were her pride, and she was a very proud grandma. She showed them off every chance she got, and she squeezed out enough energy for them when she had nothing left to squeeze. She was so torn up about leaving them behind, not being able to physically be here and watch them grow up, and them not being able to have their own memories of her. I told her that I was so proud of her, and how hard she fought. That I loved her so much, and could never and would never be mad at her if she felt like she just couldn’t fight anymore. I told her that the boys would always know her, and always remember her, that I would talk about her as much as I could, and that we had SO many wonderful memories to share with them, and pictures to show them. I told her to remember my house, and the walls of my house plastered with photos, that there was no way they could ever forget their grandma. I told her how thankful I was that she proved the doctors wrong when they told her she wouldn’t even live long enough to see Jayden born. Not only did she live long enough to see Jayden born, she lived long enough to see Zechariah born. She wanted to know how I was doing post pardum, and I told her that I had no issues, she smiled, I know she was concerned with that, because we had many talks about it, especially since Zechariah gave me so many issues at the end. These two little boys were her proudest achievements. Being a grandma made her entire world that much better and bearable. She lived to spoil them rotten.
She knew it drove me crazy to sneak Jay ice cream, cookies,cake, and basically anything h was not suppose to have,but she loved every moment of it, because she got to spoil him, and drive me crazy. I still don’t know what gave her more of a thrill, spoiling the child, or driving the mama crazy. She also lived to support, spoil, and love her three children. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for one of the three of us. IF she had to crawl every inch of tis planet for us, she would and then some. She took us in when we had no where else and no one else to go to, she helped us when we were left to figure things out on our own, and could not. She loved us when we were unlovable. These are the things only a super hero could do; only a mother could do. It is her unconditional love that makes me be a better mother to my boys and a better wife to my husband. She was my best friend. I was always able to come to her with my issues, and problems. She would left me vent, cry, yell, or whatever else I needed. She never judged me, loved me any-less, or loved the person, mostly my husband who drives me nuts, any less either. At the end of our conversations she would say, “Okay, now what are you going to do, to make things better?” She used to always tell me, “April, don’t do anything stupid to lose that man of yours, he’s a good man. He takes good care of you. You don’t have to like him that day, but you have to love him.” We had these looks we could give each other that said EVERYTHING. Even if we were not face to face my mother would know I was giving her the look, because she said she heard it in my voice. Sometimes I would try and cover up what I was thinking or wanting to say, and she would get mad at me. She used to say, “If you don’t tell me I can’t give you advice. And if you don’t want my advice, then don’t ask for it, but your voice is asking for it, so knock it off, and spill it out already.” I lost the only person that I could communicate like that to, without judgement, ridicule, or backlash. Once everything was said, that was it. She never brought it up again. I can only pray to aspire to become a mother like that, where my boys could openingly come to me about anything, and I just love them, and push them on their merry little way. She set a high bar for me to achieve, and I intend to achieve it.
Mom stayed and fought long enough to see tht we were all going to be just fine. She made sure that I could handle being a mother times 2. She made sure to teach us something every time we talked. She made sure that I had the love and support of an incredible man, who came with an equally incredible family. She left knowing that the boys still had a grandma left to spoil them rotten, to help her daughter and be there for her, and in her own words, “To love her as if she was yours.” My mom wasn’t going to leave until she knew my ever wish came true, which was to have the strong family dynamic I never got to enjoy, but my boys would. She left knowing that I got my very wish, and that Jayden and Zechariah were more than abundantly loved. She knew they would never feel even once ounce of the pain I did growing up. That brought her great comfort, more than words could express.
My mother gave me a last gift in her final week and days. We confided in one another and made some promises, that will always be kept. I will love my boys unconditionally, without judgement and without reprieve just as she loved us. I would also crawl to the ends of the earth and far beyond for my boys if I had to, just as she did for us. I promised to always love my husband and his family just as she loved Mike and his. I promised to give the boys “The Biggest wettest kisses and biggest hugs from her every day.” and to remind them of her as much as I could so they would never forget her. I have. I made her promise to take care of my angel baby with my Aunt Dawn who was like my second mother while she was in heaven. I have now lost two mothers. When one wasn’t able to be there for me, the other was. I thank God for my mother’s incredible strength, and I can only dream of having that strength for my boys.
in giving me one last gift,I unknowingly gave my mom one last gift and memory she took with her. I called her 5 times and asked if she were okay,needed anything, or would like us to stay home form our vacation. She sounded fine, and told me that she did not want us to stay, she wanted us to go and have fun, that she loved me. I did not know that would be the last time I’d hear her voice, or see her face, and feel her arms around me. I thankfully did get to talk to her via text message and I called one last time shortly before she passed and told her how proud I was of her, and how much I loved her. I told her how much fun Jayden had at Seaworld. My step dad told me about showing her the pictures I sent her, and he told me that her face light up like the fourth of July and had a smile on her face from ear to ear, when she saw Jayden playing around with the Dolphins. Our text to one another while I drove out to California seem so remedial now, but I will cherish them. Random things like whether to grow Jayden’s hair out or cut it, and how excited we were to see Jayden’s reaction to Seaworld, and that I must put lard in my breastmilk because Zechy was a little chunker. That she was proud of me for breastfeeding both boys. Her last gift to me and act as my mom was, and I don’t know whether to saying let me go or made me go, spend a happy peaceful family vacation with my husband and boys. I had no idea until it was over, that it was my last gift to her and act as her daughter to send her pictures and updates about Jayden and how he was reacting to Seaworld. I gave her comfort of enjoying my babies, and watching them have fun. that’s what super heros do. My mom was, is and will always be my super hero. Thank you mom, for always being my super hero. Words could never say how grateful I am for your wisdom, strength, gifts, knowledge and stubbornness you passed down to me.
Always in my heart and I love you mom, please find peace and rest now.
Love Always, Your Daughter,