I think about my Mother often, and on occasions like this one, it’s difficult not to.
On January 6th, 2014, I worked late, and was walking to the express bus in midtown Manhattan. I couldn’t wait to get back to my little basement apartment in my Uncle’s house in Whitestone, Queens. My phone rang, I thought it was my girlfriend, Nicole, but it was my sister.
She told me through with a trembling voice that my Mom had died. No matter how many times you imagine how something is going to go down, the anticipation of it, and still nothing prepares you. I played the scenario in my head a million times. There is no preparation. It’s impossible.
I was not on speaking terms with my Mother, maybe we briefly spoke twice in what was approaching a decade of estrangement, but no amount of anger or separation softened the blow. It stumbled me.
I called Nicole next, and then boarded the bus, spending the next 50 minutes trying to keep my emotions in check. Who wants to cry in public? I don’t.
When I got to the house I saw my relatives inside the living room through the front window. I walked up the driveway and entered the house through the back door, and went straight to my dungeon. I wasn’t ready. I washed my face and tried to regain my composure.
From the phone call to the funeral mass at St. Luke’s Church, where I eulogized my Mother, was added to the list of toughest moments. No matter the trials and tribulations, or the hardships and rough patches and bad decisions, your mother is still your mother. And I miss mine.
Fourteen months later Nicole would give birth to our twins and I would witness an amazing woman become an amazing mother. Nicole is everything a mother should be and more. Loving and attentive, selfless and protective. The children are everything, the main concern, the top priority. Being a mother is tougher than any other job, and I acknowledge that, and the good ones have my respect.
Props to the moms, tired and frustrated, and still out there holding it all together, just being the best. You are appreciated and loved. I hope y’all have a lovely day.
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