Loss of mom leaves a hole in the heart

01/12/2014 12:00 AM

01/11/2014 8:57 PM

Little did I know on Dec. 23 when I wrote about not making resolutions for the new year but taking a moment to look back at personal and very specific events of the past year, that for me both would be so evident.

Our trip to France was probably the most fun time I had in 2013, but the most difficult thing that happened was not just a tough way to end 2013 but perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever faced.

My mom passed away Dec. 28. She was in the hospital, but it was still a shock. She was probably ready to leave this world, but it has put a hole in my heart. No one will ever love me the way my mom did.

So many people have been so kind and supportive, there is no way to thank them. I do know I haven’t felt nearly sorry enough for my friends and family who lost their moms. My brother, Dale, says he feels the same way.

We’re both grateful for the many, many wonderful memories of our outstanding mom.

I was very upset when I realized my mom died alone. No one was in the room. My friend Sally Thompson explained that was the way Mom wanted it. “She would have hung on and hung on if you had been sitting there,” she said.

That might be true because Mom waited to take her last breath until the nurse had left the room to get a warm blanket.

Tom Shine is one of my Eagle co-workers I’ve missed the most since I retired. I will never forget what he said after the funeral.

“So much of what I heard about your mom reminded me of you. It is difficult to lose those who have shaped us, but your mom isn’t really gone because her wonderful qualities live in you,” he said.

I do hope I have some of her qualities because I admired her and so did many others.

My dad died 10 years ago, and that was heartbreaking, but this experience is like nothing I’ve ever gone through. “It’s different when it’s your mom,” my cousin Garry Hoy said. “And it’s different when you lose your last parent.”

So many people have given me good advice. I’ve read the cards and e-mails several times because it makes me realize how many people also had great moms and they assure me, “It gets better.”

Those of us who grew up in a loving home knowing our parents’ main concern was our health, safety and comfort are the fortunate ones. Roles may be reversed when parents are elderly, but their unconditional love remains as long as they live.

I’ll miss that. And I’ll miss my mom’s humor, her wisdom, her generosity and the best smile I’ve ever seen.

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