Last month was the 11th anniversary of my mom’s passing. Every year this day makes me reminisce. This year I realized that it was a lot harder. Time has passed and worn these memories down to faint and even nonexistent. For some reason my mind has attached to the days before her passing with very limited memories before that time. Only the outstanding moments, the incidences that make my mom stand out as a mom, remain easily recallable.
I can’t remember my mom’s voice. I don’t remember how she talked or her body language. I can’t easily recall her smell or the feel of her skin. I can’t tell you how hard she hugged or how soft she kissed. I can’t even remember advice or encouragement. I can’t remember how it feels to make her proud or even to let her down. So little is left.
I have to admit that it’s tearing me apart that this happening. I know how time works and I’d be lying if I didn’t expect this to happen, but what I hate most is that these memories aren’t being replaced by new ones. I don’t have any recent hugs to recall or words of wisdom to reflect on. I don’t feel like I have anyone left that is always on my team, my unconditional cheerleader. Every time a memory slips away, I feel like a piece of mom is gone.
Last night Collin refused to sleep. This is strange for him. He refused all of my “tricks”; rocking, singing, reading, rubbing, nothing was working. I tried sitting in his bed, sitting beside his bed, leaving the room, again, nothing was working. Finally completely annoyed with no more tricks, I sunk in the rocking chair in his room with nowhere else to go. Faster than I could blink, Collin was curled up in my lap looking up at me with those big grey eyes like his protest never happened.
I couldn’t help but to wonder how many times I was curled up on my mom’s lap studying her face, how many moments we had together. I know that Collin won’t remember this night, just like I don’t remember those nights with my mom. It is one of many for him, though. As we rocked, I took the opportunity to smell his hair, touch his soft skin, and feel his weight on my lap. I know that this memory will fade for me, as well. When he graduates from high school, I won’t be able to easily recall his weight, his smell, or his softness in the months before he turned two.
The only comfort that I have is knowing that these memories will be replaced with the many to come in the future. He’ll soon be forming words more accurately and I’ll forget the cute sound of his “no”. He will grow into a man and I’ll forget his pudgy toddler body. His large appetite won’t be so laughable when it starts seriously increasing our grocery bills. It’s exciting to see him grow into an amazing person, even with my current memories being the cost.
As much as it pains me, I feel like all I have left is to create my own mom memories. It’s as much for my boys as it is for me. The one thing that I can be sure of is that she was an amazing mom. My goal is to make my kids say the same about me, no matter how their memories work.