Do you ever have a random thought that you suddenly want to share with someone and you almost take a step toward the phone or a keyboard when you remember that particular someone is dead? That doesn’t happen to me very often but it did happen this afternoon. I do not recall what piece of information or story I wanted to share but I do remember the person was my Mom, who died six years ago today.
She was a storyteller with a serious sense of curiosity. Those are two of my dominant personality traits and I know I got that from her. Her vision and hearing were both bad in her later years, limiting phone and writing contact, so the storytelling mostly happened during my visits to see her in New Orleans. She often asked about technology in an effort to understand things that were totally alien to her. She asked about my job, my town and my current and past wives. She gave me “that look” when referencing the wives (yes that’s wives with an “s”). She was judgmental but also tolerant and forgiving; I guess Moms do that.
I thought of her when Hurricane Irene was travelling up the coast last week, just days before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s assault on New Orleans. I think maybe I wanted to tell her some piece of information about the hurricane; that’s a topic we spent plenty of time discussing. She and I each had numerous hurricane stories. Hurricane Katrina is partly responsible for her death, so I still have storm stories relating to her.
The more the years go by the less I think about her on a regular basis. I had hoped that would never happen, but I guess it is inevitable. I certainly will never forget her, of course, and I am grateful for time markers like birthdays, anniversaries and Hallmark holidays to jog my memory. But she is always around: when I over-plan a trip, when I tell a story, when I laugh at my own jokes, when I look in the mirror (my eyes and my hair color come from Mom).
I miss Mom today.