Growing up, I used to tell my mom everything. She was the best listener around. I couldn’t wait to come home and practice my French with her or just talk about mundane things. Getting married and moving away limited our talks. I was busy being married and trying to graduate from college all at the same time.
Then there was a brief season when I became her confidante. It was the moment I would forever then look at my mom not as my mom but as a woman. She was transparent, honest, and real. That season didn’t last as yet again life’s distractions took over and I think it was around the time she discovered she had cancer. She felt it best to shield us from that side of her. What I originally thought was deliberate distance is what I now know to be a sacrificial mother’s love.
I started a new job barely a month before she passed. She told her friends I was a “directrice” at a school and they mentioned her pride in me. I was walking back to my building one day recently fast paced in my heels as usual. Thinking what would I be able to share with my mom about this new job that she would be proud to hear. And then my pace nearly came to a stop. Fighting back the tears, I walked slowly back to my office.
It keeps hitting me repeatedly that she isn’t here to talk to. She isn’t here to argue with. She isn’t here to sit silently with and just be. My husband had recently been by my parent’s home. He mentioned going into her room. I asked him what did it feel like? “It’s really quiet,” he said. Yeah, really quiet.