Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would have been 92 years old had she lived. I don't normally commemorate her special day, but for some reason I decided it was a good day to watch The Theory of Everything, the moving story of Stephen Hawking starring Eddie Redmayne. As everyone knows, Mr. Hawking suffers from ALS, the same disease that killed my mother, and thousands of others who shall remain nameless for this post. I was alone in the house and figured if I was going to break down and make a fool of myself at least no one would see me. Surprisingly, I didn't cry, although the tears were poised to fall. What I did feel was a terrible longing to have my mother by my side for even one hour to tell her all the amazing things she's missed since she passed.
Losing a parent is horrible, but she was more than a mother; she was my best friend. No one has ever been able to replace her in that role although my only sister has come damned close. Our mother would have been thrilled to know that the two girls she raised on her own have not only survived, we've done her proud. I've become a published novelist and my sister has risen to a prominent position in women's health care.
I read on FB that it's Grandparent's day today. Another reason to talk about my mom. She would have made a spectacular grandmother to the four sons I've been privileged to raise and the two wonderful kids who would have been her great-grandchildren. I'm so sorry they'll never know what they missed. It would have been her fondest wish to cook Sunday lunch for all of us, and share the latest gossip in her wonderful, flamboyant way. She was a drama queen long before it became fashionable.
So the point to this rambling post is to remind everyone to kiss the parent, hug the grandma and grandpa, love the ones who are alive, and never forget to mention how much they mean to you. Life is too bloody short and do overs only happen in novels. Happy birthday, Ma, and happy Grandparent's Day to the ones who are lucky enough to be in this special group.
P.S. Just so you know, I'm not that stoic after all. This post made me tear up more than yesterday's movie.