Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Tribute to my Mother

Jean Lewis Mills - December 19, 1927-August 4, 1989
Beloved Mother Rest In Peace
Recently, my cousin, Mamie posted a blog that posed the question, Does Grieving End?  She was commemorating the first anniversary of her dad’s passing.  I have thought a lot about this and today I turn inward in earnest with this question as today is the anniversary of my own dear Mother’s death.  For me, it has been 22 years since she died quite unexpectedly from a heart attack.  She was only 61 years old, just getting ready for retirement and had many plans and dreams ahead of her. 
She had been orphaned at a young age and raised by her grandmother until she was around 12 years old.  Her grandmother passed and she was sent to live with an uncle.  She and her sister ran away from there and she finished high school while living at the YWCA.  After attending a business college, she began working, marrying and having a family.  Right after my sister was born, she got saved at a Billy Graham Crusade and became the good Christian lady most people, including me, knew. 
She was not wealthy, but had so much class.  She brought up me, my sister and brother in church with good values and morals.  She loved us dearly and held our family together like glue.  We never knew how true this was until her passing. 
There are so many things I don’t know about her.  There are tons of things I wish I could ask her.  I think she may have been trying to tell me some things about getting older, but I was not prepared to hear and understand them yet. 
She was the one person in my life that I could always count on without fail.  The one person that loved me so unconditionally as no one has loved me since.  Not a day of my life goes by that I do not think of her and miss her and long to talk to her…long to feel that kind of love. 
So I would say to Mamie, in a sense, grieving never ends.  It isn’t the kind of grieving that is felt at first…the empty hole, the tears, the depression over the loss.  I actually mostly remember the good things and what I miss most, is what she is missing…my sons growing up, my own grandchildren as well as the children and grandchildren of my brother and sister.  I miss being able to pick up the phone and call for advice.  I miss being able to draw on the years of experience she had beyond mine.
Photo Rob Wiltshire
Today I honor my Mother.  I miss and love her every day.  And yes, in a sense, I grieve for her every day.  I realize how fortunate I am that I had this type of Mother to love me, nurture me, and show me how to be a good person.  Rest in Peace, Mother.  You will always be a part of me.  You live on in each of your children and consequently, your grandchildren and great grandchildren.  And thank you for sacrificing for me, my sister and brother.  I really get it now.

1 comment:

  1. I remember your mother well. I knew her as a gentle southern lady. Did not know the facts of her life though and enjoyed reading them here. I also lost my mom early - she was 55 - and know that ripped out feeling of early loss. I am so thankful that neither of my parents really suffered, and in a way glad that my mom will always be that fifty-five year old in what I know now is the prime of life. There is no way to get across to people that you must spend time time and more time and ask all your questions while you can. Truly, you don't know what you've got til it's gone.