It happened again. That moment when I was overwhelmed with some unexpected news, and my first thought was , I gotta call Mom -- followed by that sinking feeling, that you are no longer here. I think I’m too old to be considered an orphan, but there’s something completely unnerving about not having parents here on earth anymore. And each day there’s just so much left to share.
However, there are a few things I want you to know.
I have finally gotten it.
As the years creep up on me, pushing me into my ownunchartered waters of aging, I find myself thinking more and more about you and how so many things make perfect sense now-- that I was too young and too busy to understand at the time.
For starters, I am recalling our one-sided conversations about various ailments-- aches and pains—that you were dealing with. And guess what? I blew it off. Sure I listened, nodded with some sense of sympathy, but then I fully expected you to get up, cook, clean, and promptly return to Mom-mode. After all, you were the Mom—always on the move, always serving, never tired, putting your kids first before your own needs. Mom’s never stop being Mom’s, do they? Surely they don’t get sick or have aches and pains. I now get it. I have aches and pains and I am wishing I could call you and get some remedy, insight, or even just a little bit of sympathy. I now see that same blank stare in my own grown up children’s eyes.
You know what else Mom? I finally have free time! Now that the kids are gone, I can just hang out, go shopping, eat out, or just sit around and gab with you. But you’re not here anymore.
And those conversations that annoyed me when you would express worry over my siblings and I would sigh with a blank stare. At the time , and in the midst of raising my own little people, I thought get over it, their adults. Was I really that naïve to think that heartstrings can be loosened or worse yet cut off just because a child is now an adult? My prayers have never been more fervent than for my adult kids.
I get it now Mom.
I also get your excitement when one of your children dropped by--even if was just for a little while. Isee now what busy schedules, kids, and jobs look like in my own children. I have reluctantly resolved that all of this is the inevitable cycle of life
I get it now.
I understand there will always be a subtle need to be a parent. Helping our children (no matter how grown) brings a gratification like none other. You were always willing to drop everything if I needed something --even though I rarely asked what it was that you might need.
So until we meet again (and thankfully because of our mutual love for Christ—we will!), please know that I miss you and long to have one more conversation to tell you ‘I get it.’
I finally get it Mom.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep In death, so that you do not grieve like others who have no hope.” I Thessalonians 4:13
Andrea Maher is the former editor-in chief of PARENT ABC’s, a monthly magazine dedicated to helping parents navigate the everyday concerns of family life. She is the author of the newly released book, SLAMMED: Overcoming Tragedy in the Wave of Grief, A Survival Guide She has been married to her husband, John, for 40 years and are the parents of four sons, and enjoy their six grandchildren in Cape May, New Jersey where they reside. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.