Yesterday morning started like any other morning. Got Monkey off to school and headed up to walmart for a couple things before I needed to head into work. While in Walmart my cousin called although I didn't get it right away. Darn signal. I knew something was up though when I got the voicemail and text. Something not good and it wasn't. She was calling to let me know that my stepmom had passed away that morning.
S was mom to me though, probably more of a mom to me than my own mother was. There are so many memories I have that involve her.
She married my dad when I was 3 and I was their flower girl. Even now I remember shopping for my dress which really wasn't a dress. As a kid I was very tall but even more skinny so finding clothes was a huge pain. I ended up wearing what was actually a silk nightgown with these flowers on it. It had this pretty robe that went over it and tied with a thin ribbon. In the pictures it really does look like a dress, only we knew differently.
I remember when I asked shortly after the wedding if it was ok to call her mom instead of by her name. How she hugged me and she she would love that.
I remember when she started teaching me how to type when I was in third grade. Telling me knowing how to type quickly would open doors for me later on in life. I remember thinking it was crazy being able to type 100+ wpm and now knowing how right she was.
I remember my first lesson in cooking. Peach cobbler. How she just handed me the recipe and sat back and watched as I dumped every ingredient into the bowl. Only to find out after it was in the oven that not everything was supposed to go in at one time. Then I watched as she still tasted it even though I had screwed the whole thing up.
I remember how she could step out on the back porch, hollering our names into the neighborhood when it was time to eat or come in for the night. Her voice carried so well and it was better than any phone.
I remember how she swore her hearing was so good she could hear all three of us breathing upstairs and knew when one of us woke up before our feet even hit the floor.
I remember when my dad left. How she took all of us across the alley to grandma's to break the news. And how she let me stay with her even though I wasn't her natural child. She kept me as though I were. I remember how she cried with me at his leaving.
I remember the holidays, birthdays, weekend BBQ's with friends. Everything with her involved. The late night chats or being able to sit for hours when we would visit home, talking about our lives and remembering things from the past.
I can still hear her voice as she told me she was proud of me and what I had become. That I had made mistakes but we all do. All we can do is learn from them.
In recent years those chats were fewer with more space between. I lived 750 miles away and had my own responsibilities with my family and work. The days just blurred by and as so many relationships do it eventually was left to holidays and special occasions. Sometimes those nothing more than quick chats as time was always limited.
I hope she knew though that she was always with me. Every meal I made I thought of her and the lessons she had taught me. Every holiday holds a memory that involves her. Every major milestone in my life she touched somehow. When I think of the lessons I want to pass on to my kids I think of the things she taught me.
I will forever miss you mom and I hope that you knew how much you meant to me. I wish that I could tell you now but I know that your suffering is over and your in a much better place. From now on, you'll be my angel and I hope that you will watch over Monkey and Toots. I hope that I continue to make you proud and that the things you have taught me are reflected in them and their upbringing. One day when they are older and ask who taught me these things I will tell them about you. And although there will be sadness that you are no longer with us, there will also be happiness for the memories that we do have. You are gone from the earth, but you will never be forgotten.
"I thought of you with love today
but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday
and days before that too,
I think of you in silence
I often speak your name
Now all I have are memories
and your picture in a frame
Your memory is my keepsake
with which I’ll never part
God has you in His keeping
but I have you in my heart."