Mom, this is what you’ve been for the last 23 years, today.
23 years ago at 10:07pm on May 17, 1992, you left my world too soon… but I know you’ve always been with me.
My guiding light.
I was a little girl. In a way or two, I still am. My world in a way stopped that day. But as dad says, nothing last forever.
I am grateful I had the decade and a half of years with you.
Thank you for giving me life.
Thank you for being life.
You were larger than life.
You taught me how to make and keep a home. (You made our house cozy and safe) You taught me love and how to show the love for people in my life. (Leaving post-it notes in my lunchbox or the little cheap gifts you’d buy and put by my bed, you were at all my home running meets and soccer games) You taught me tenacity, dedication, motivation. (You accomplished so many goals you set out to do) You taught me subtle things I carry on. Thank you.
It’s the little things that remind me of you.
The way my shoeboxes sit on the upper closet shelf. A simple glass of chilled white wine. The pure happiness of a good book in my hands. (You never left the house without your current book selection) The jasmine plants I see and smell (now in bloom) everyday at Starbucks before work.
The smell of what you always called “Lady of the Night” transports me right back to being a kid smelling it as you always made the lady comment those warm summer evenings. I am going to Home Depot tomorrow to purchase some for my backyard. This is my honor to you today. I will smell these plants (hopefully I can have them grow up a trellis) throughout the upcoming summer and think of you and smile. I am like you, every time I smell them, I say “lady of the night”. Who the hell is lady of the night and where did you get that?
As I reflect here tonight, I realized we missed out on a lot. But it is okay. I had you and that makes me lucky. But we never discussed dating or marriage or life. You never taught me how to put on makeup, how to dress or how to be a lady. We never shared a cup of coffee or a glass of wine together. We never did anything as two adults. You missed out on my getting my driver’s license, high school graduation, college graduation, wedding, job swearing ins, the purchasing of my homes.
But you were there…my guiding light.
Sitting here, I realize there are things you did in your life that I wish to make a part of mine. I want to do charity work like you did. I want to give love to a child like you did. It does not appear I will be a mom so I have decided to become a foster mom when I retire. I want to sew clothes like you made for me (and the matching outfits for you and me) and I will do this for my foster child(ren) on your sewing machine (note: another thing to learn about). I want to learn how to needlepoint or crochet as you did. And I promised myself before my 40th birthday, I will learn how to apply make-up by finally forcing myself to go learn at a makeup counter.
As I sit here writing, I realized I have not cried for you in many years. It feels so wonderful and I am smiling so big right now, tears in eyes. Not a sad moment at all.
I hope you are watching down on me proud, mama.
Going through a box of photographs to find some to post on here, I found a note I wrote you back on May 17, 2002. A part reads, “Over the past ten years, I’ve felt your presence and I thank you for that… May you always shine like you always have.”
Well, Mom…you so have.
I love you, my guiding light.
Lover: Always showing your love and affection and teaching us how wonderful it is to be and feel loved.
Best “susie-homemaker”: Here needlepointing when you were not sewing or crocheting or knitting or cooking or tending to the house…
Creativeness: You sat me down with paint supplies and brushes and a piece of string. I chose the string and made this piece of artwork for a charity event you did. You and Dad returned home that night telling me the painting raised over $1000 in the auction. You raised that money by spending cents and allowed me to share in on your passion of charity work.Fearlessness: Here you are at one of the plays you acted in…You were the only woman who wore a leotard and tights as the scene called for. The other women hid in baggy shirts. I still remember to this day the women you stood along side of and how they raved how they loved your confidence and audacity and how beautiful you looked.
Here you are at one of dad’s boating races in San Francisco in the early or mid 1980’s and again on your last trip before becoming ill, here in 1991. Little did you know I would move to San Francisco. I left a part of my heart in that city because it was your ultimate favorite place. And ironically, it was our last real vacation together.