20 years

I haven’t talked to my mommy in twenty years. I can not believe it! Well, I guess I do talk to her often, but we don’t get to have conversations. The last Sunday in August, twenty years ago, I kissed her goodbye and drove to College Station to settle into my dorm. That night, she slipped into a coma. I went home to be with my family in what we knew were her last days, but not knowing how long she’d hang on, I returned to A&M the following Sunday, the night before school started. She died early the next morning, September 2, 1991. Twenty years this Friday.

Mommy was very excited for me to go to A&M. She made sure I knew it was what she wanted me to do, not matter what happened with her. At that time, at forty years old, she was pretty advanced with metastatic breast cancer in her lungs and brain. I was very much a mama’s girl, so my life changed in so many ways that day, twenty years ago. I lost my mommy — my rock, my biggest fan. I started a new journey as a college student, away from home (in the big, to me, city of College Station. You could get pizza delivered there. To your DOOR!) And really, I’d had the first bad thing of my life happen to me. I’d been a pretty lucky little girl.

But I still consider myself a lucky little girl. I woke up this weekend in the dumps. I could not figure out why I was so sad. I have a great life. I get to be home with my kids, by choice. I have a good education. I had a great career and know I can again. My husband is amazing, and I have two wonderful, healthy kids who I had by choice when I wanted to after completing all my having-kid prerequisites. I have a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood with a good school. My kids are fun and well-adjusted. Everything is good. Why did I want to run away and cry? Then I realized that it is the last week of August. Then I realized that this is twenty years. I’ve lived a different life for twenty years.

This summer has been really special. I’ve seen my mom’s life in my own for the first time ever, or at least what I remember most about her life with me — mothering two little girls. Elizabeth and Caroline are at the ages now that they play well together. And that they fight hard together. Just like two other little girls I once knew. When the girls and I hold hands across a parking lot or go through the grocery store together, I remember my own time with my mama. I miss her, but she made me the woman I am today. The woman who knows how important it is to be home with my girls while they are little — because this time will pass quickly. The woman who adores her husband. The woman who strives to keep an organized home. The woman who loves God and strives to serve Him. The woman who tends to get over-involved with volunteer opportunities. I hope I can be half the woman she was in twice the time she was given. Love you, mommy!