My dear mother passed away June 14, 1982 at the young age of 64. Today would have been her 88th birthday. She had a very rare heart disease called amyloidosis. Her cardiologist had only seen one other case in his 15 years of practice, and that was as an intern. We were told at the time of diagnosis she only had a short time to live. Indeed, it was short! Within 4 months, she was gone. She knew that it was terminal — but not once, not even for one second did she ever show a pang of self-pity; not once did she ever cry in front of me and say “why?”; not once did she act depressed or take a drug to help her through the day; not once did we discuss what was ahead. She dealt with her feelings, her fears, her emotions alone.
On my 39th birthday, even though I know now that she didn’t feel like going out to eat with us, she dressed and went. Her appetite was gone, but she ate a few fries. After the birthday dinner, we went back to my parent’s house, visited a short while, kissed and hugged goodbye and left. She died in her sleep that night.
It doesn’t seem like 23 years ago that this big hole in my own heart was created or that my wet eyes and dry throat occur whenever I think about her. No, I wouldn’t pray for her to be here with us in the physical condition that disease brought upon her. However, I shall never ever stop mourning her. Those of you who still are blessed with a mother to hug, a mother to kiss, a mother to confide in, a mother to complain to, a mother to ask her opinion, a mother to call, a mother to go see, or even a mother to be mad at (I can’t imagine that) — remember that there has never been, nor will there ever be, anyone like Mom!
So, even though she’s not HERE to hear me, I have faith that she is close and knows I am wishing that I could hug and kiss her today and say, “Happy Birthday Mother, I love you!”