It’s been over six years, but sometimes it still sneaks up on me…
Missing her I mean.
There are so many things I do miss. The way she swore until the air turned blue when the Steelers or Bears were playing. The twinkle in her eye when she held a baby. Going shopping with her and how she could drive me crazy ruminating over which pair of white socks she wanted and then walk away and buy neither (a trait which was apparently genetic). I miss talking to her about life. Talking to her about politics. Talking to her about nothing. Just talking to her.
What I miss most though is the way I could simply be with her in a way that I can’t be with anyone else. She knew me inside and out. She watched all of my quirks and eccentricities develop from the moment I started breathing–and knew my movement intimately even before. She ‘got’ me because she helped to make me. She got me because some of the same stuff that made me made her. She got me because she loved me in that through and through way that only a mother can.
I miss being with her when my face hadn’t been washed and my hair was greasy and I was wearing slouchy pajama bottoms and feeling just as comfortable with her as I did when I had on jeans and sweatshirt. I miss the advice she gave and the way she could make me laugh about things I didn’t want to laugh about.
There’s something about being with your Mom that feels like a worn out flannel shirt that you just can’t stop wearing. It’s soft and comfortable and threadbare in places, but it’s the only shirt you want to wear when you need to give your soul a little space to breathe and be comforted.
It’s the only shirt you want to wear when the sweetness or sadness of life leaves you with an ache that you can’t quite put words to.
She drove me crazy sometimes and gave unsolicited and unappreciated advice sometimes and lord knows that even as an adult she could make me angry in a way other people never could.
She also knew better than anyone else how to give me space. Sometimes it was the space to learn, the space to fail. Other times it was space to be quiet and not talk.
But there was this comfortability with her. I knew who I was when I was with her and I was with someone who knew me better than most everyone else in the world (save my husband).
I miss that desperately sometimes. I miss her desperately right now.
As I think about those things that I miss, I hope and I pray that I’m making the same sort of relationship with my girls. Sometimes they drive me C-R-A-Z-Y. And sometimes I push them too hard. Sometimes I worry that I don’t engage with them enough or that I nag too often. But I hope, past all those flaws that keep me up at night, that somehow or another that I’ve given them the space to just be. I hope that I am a safe place for them to be who they are as they are. I hope that when they’re thirty that’s something that they will appreciate about me. I hope we’ll kick back at a sunlit table in late mornings and just chat about the world. I hope there will be conversations that will stretch our minds and our hearts. And I hope that being with me will always feel like coming home. I hope that I will live long enough to be a kind of home for them long into their adulthood.
As for me though today… I’m homesick, and missing my Mama something fierce.