My mother would have been 78 years old today, had she not passed away from a very unexpected, very sudden stroke nearly 6 months ago. She went from a healthy, vibrant, active senior, still working out daily and riding her bicycle many miles each week, to comatose within 15 minutes and passing away within a day. There was no warning and no time to say “Goodbye for now”.
We all know that our parents will pass away. It’s all part of the circle of life and is nothing surprising- until it happens to us. Then, life as we know it changes forever. Suddenly, we too become mortal.
It’s been nearly 6 months since her passing, and yet, I still can’t remove her birthday from my calendar on my laptop. I think it will be on my calendar forever, not to remind me of the sadness of her passing, but to celebrate the life that she lived. Even though she is gone in a physical sense, I will still celebrate this special day of her birth.
In so many ways, she’s still here with me now. The values that she taught me, the memories that we created together, the conversations that were ours and ours alone….they will be with me forever.
I learned something valuable from my mother almost every time we were together, and her passing is nothing more than another opportunity to learn from her once again.
She taught me that love never dies, that we’ll always be together with those we love, and that life is indeed very short. She reminded me that life is fleeting and can be gone for any of us in an instant. It’s not something to ever be taken for granted, but rather, something to be truly celebrated.
For that reason, be kind to one another. Never go to sleep angry with anyone. Don’t leave things unsaid that need to be said. Forgive one another and yourself. Love one another as if today could be your last.
So on this day, Happy Birthday Mom. In honor of your birthday, I’m going to plan a special day to celebrate your life by doing something on my bucket list, since you never got to finish yours. Perhaps I’ll be really crazy and go skydiving with my friend Adam, or maybe just go skiing, or hike in the snow at Glacier National Park. No matter what I do, know that you’ll be with me in my heart.
Happy Birthday Mom…. I love you.