It's been a year since Mom died and I miss her as much today as I did that night. Later on today I will be going to visit her final resting place, which I don't get to as often as I would like. It's a beautiful area which Mom always enjoyed seeing in the months before her death. Of course I can think of her and feel close to her, not only there, but everywhere I go - especially when there is someone around that she knew, or if there is a teddy bear.
My role model for making a difference in the world, for giving back to community, was Mom. She did it in the way she raised my sister and I and the way she cared for the sick in her work as a nurse and in her volunteer time at her church and at school and then many things she did. She gave back too by always being pleasant and smiling. I still see her smile in my mind every day.
A few years ago Mom did something that I think is pretty incredible. She gave me an envelope with a small attached package. "Don't open this until after I am gone" it said on the envelope. I followed her instructions and kept it hidden away until a few days after she passed away. My sister had gotten a similar package and envelope. We both remembered the packages and (separately) opened them up a night or two after Mom died. Wrapped in white tissue paper was a book titled "This Too Shall Pass" about dealing with death and other difficult moments in life. The attached note said I had been the best son a mother could have. It said she hoped the book would help and then wished me a good life. "We'll be together again someday" was how she closed.
On Mom's year's mind, I think back to that night at Seton Coastside and thank God for the best sister a guy could possible have, who was there with me that difficult night, and thanks too for the wonderful friends who offered comfort and support and who continue to. I think too of Mom of course, who gave me life and taught me how to live. Mom made a huge difference. Thanks be to God!