As a 12-year old, the last thing you would ever think about is losing your mom. That exact moment happened to me, 19 years ago today. My mom passed away, suddenly, at the age of 35. Clearly, God needed her more up there, than we needed her here. So, today, I bring you a tribute to her short life, as I remember it from long ago.
My mom had one heck of a personality. She was loud, outgoing, and brought joy into any room she entered. She was also funny, creative, and different in her own ways. Cooking and creating recipes was her passion. She also enjoyed crocheting. I never knew someone who could create a blanket with skeins of yarn within hours like she did.
She loved music. I remember dancing and singing along to a bunch of 70s and 80s music as a kid. She loved all styles from rock to country and anything in between. Whatever her mood or task was, the music followed.
Her favorite holiday was Halloween. It was Christmas to her. While we dressed like angels and clowns, she had her own witch setup. The makeup, the wig, the cape, she had it all. She was a witch every year up until her death. Because of her, Halloween was fun.
My mom was notorious for doing her own nails. Her nails weren’t short, at all. She somehow managed to maintain her nails which were over an inch long from the tip of the real finger nail. She spent her Sunday afternoons filling the acrylic sets and painting them in wild, vivid colors. It was unreal, coming from someone who hates having nails done, period.
My mom loved the San Diego Chargers. She’s a California girl at heart, so we could never convert her into an Indianpolis Colts fan. I remember her parading around the house on Sundays in her Junior Seau jersey. I’m sure she still rocks the jersey, in heaven.
She loved cats, so much, we owned four or five at one time. Any stray that appeared in our yard, would make themselves at home. She had a heart for animals of all kinds. She even collected owls as we had owl shrines throughout the house.
The final night of her life, we spent watching the winter Olympics. We watched Tara Lipinski win gold for figure skating. She cheered Ms. Lipinski on throughout the whole night. To go from that to finding out that she passed overnight was tragic. We’ve been told it was arthreosclerosis that took her life, but she also battled depression, asthma, and other health issues. Losing your mom at any age is hard, but losing her as a pre-teen was horrible.
In the short 12-years I knew her, she made a huge impact on my life. She taught me to love and to be strong, no matter the circumstances. Her sudden death also taught me that tomorrow is never promised. What I would give to have just one more day with her.
I still can’t believe that it’s been 19 years already. To this day, I still think about her and what life would be like if she were still around. I’ve been blessed to have an awesome dad and stepmom, four wonderful boys, and a rockstar husband to love and support me, just as much as she would.
I’m asking you today, in my mother’s honor, to call your mom and tell her you love her. Call your stepmom, grandmother, or any motherly figure in your life. If heaven had a phone service, you bet that I would be calling mine. Never take your mother for granted. You never know what tomorrow brings.