Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Missing you Momma

It's New Years Day.  We lost Mom completely 2 years ago today, though we'd really begun to lose her long her before that.  Lost her slowly, over a number of years.  They call Alzheimer's Disease 'the long goodbye'.  Having lost not one, but two parents to the disease, I can tell you that's horrifyingly accurate.  

Mom lived a full and beautiful life.  I have many, many wonderful memories.   She was a single Mother.  Scraping by for my brothers and I by working two jobs.  She bought and paid for her own home.  She got her associates degree after age 50.  But even with all her accomplishments, the thing she was proudest of was her three kids and all her grand kids.  Late in life, she would often look around at huge family gatherings and proudly proclaim... 'I'm the Momma of all this'.    Yes, Mom.  You were.

This is one of my favorite pictures of her.  Years into her disease, I took her to a Willie Nelson concert.  She couldn't really tell where she should be looking and she sat much of the time looking at the speaker bank and not the stage.  But, when she closed her eyes, she went to a different time and place.  I'm sure of it.  

I'm thankful for many things we did together, times we spent together.  The year before her diagnosis we went to Italy together.  That trip was such a blessing.

We spent a lot of time together over the next years.  Enjoying many moments small and large.  One of the adventures we took was to record a Storycorps interview for their memory project.  It aired Christmas eve of that year on our local NPR station.  As I prepared my questions for our interview, I tried to focus on questions that I knew my brothers and I would forever be glad we had her answers to... in her own voice.  "Of what are you most proud?"... My Children.  My Children. Forever we can press play and hear Mom's voice, her own words.  You can hear a snippet of the interview here .

I miss you Momma.

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