My mom died.

If I had to describe her in one word, it would be “strong”. She was a relentless advocate of our family, a woman who would move the world to protect us. In the end, her heart was strong as well and kept her alive long after the doctors expected it to give out.

She leaves behind a long life, well lived, and a lifetime of memories that I will hold onto for the rest of mine. You cannot summarize the impact your parents have on you in a few anecdotes, but there are some memories that stand out for me when I think about her.

1/ During my first semester in college, during the study period right before finals, there was a knock on the door of my dorm room. It was a surprise delivery of chocolate chip cookies to help me keep my spirits up during the harsh prep for finals, some of the largest cookies you have ever seen. I dubbed them “cookies of knowledge” and my mom made sure I got them almost ever study period during my college years. It made one of the most stressful times much easier.

2/ We went bowling with some of our friends when I was young, and after a full afternoon of bowling she went to pay the bill. The bowling alley had some kind of malfunction and wanted to charge us an exorbitant amount, threatening to call the police if my mom didn’t pay. She told them “Good, please do call the police”. The alley relented and fixed the bill, as their bluff was called. At the time I didn’t really understand what happened but I’ve never forgotten the lesson: Don’t be afraid when you know you are right.

3/ When I got divorced, the feelings of sadness and failure were an overwhelming burden to carry. My parents were one of the first people I told. I still remember the words my mom used then: “I hope you don’t think of yourself as a failure. You aren’t a failure.” And told me a story about one of her friends that went through the same thing. It was what I needed to hear to start the the process of healing. The right words at the right time.

I’m thankful that she came to my wedding to Beth, met Alexis and held Connor. I will miss calling her every Sunday and hearing her happy voice when she recognized mine. You never know how much time you have left, so sometimes it needs to be enough to have a chance to say goodbye. I was lucky enough to be able to do that.

I miss you mom.


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