It is beautiful when you can have a close relationship with your parents. My mother was my best friend. She passed away on August 11, 2011. I was currently serving in Germany when I heard the news. It wasn’t given to me in the best way possible, but that was many years ago, and I forgive the person that was stepping in as our First Sergeant at the time; he did his best. As a military member, going home for emergency leave has to be one of the worse feelings ever. You don’t really have time to process everything that is going on, because you’re trying to figure out all of the logistics to get home. I was traveling from Germany at the time, so that made it even more difficult.
Any-who, this post isn’t about my mother’s death, it’s about celebrating her life. My mother was born on April 6, 1960, so she would have turned the “big 6-0” today. Turning 60 is a huge milestone. I learned that in Korean culture, they throw a huge celebration where the entire village celebrates the person turning 60. My family is big on birthdays as well, and we do the same. If my mother was here, I would have flown home to South Carolina from Greece to celebrate with her and the rest of my family. My mother and I are just alike in many ways. We both love to party and have fun. She wasn’t a drinker, but still loved to dance and enjoy herself. She was very sarcastic, and had a smart mouth, that’s where I get mine from. She also had beautiful dark skin and the whitest most beautiful teeth. I needed a little help in the teeth department, but they’re good now though.
When I say my mother was my best friend, I mean that. We had the best mother daughter relationship. I am the middle child of five, and the oldest of the youngest. I have one older brother and sister and two younger brothers, so I’m the baby girl. I feel like I was the favorite. My other siblings might say the same as well about themselves, but we all know who the real favorite was. Basically what I’m saying is that my mother always knew how to make me feel special. That’s what I loved most about our relationship. I loved getting good grades and making her proud with my report cards and accolades that I received from school.
One of my the most devastating times in my life was watching my mother become sick. When I was in 10th grade my mother suffered from a stroke and a few other illnesses at once that caused her to be in the ICU and on life support (which I didn’t know at the time). I was so sad and angry during that time of my life, because I felt like she didn’t take care of herself enough to make sure that she was healthy. Everything around me was changing. Being that age is stressful enough, but adding in a sick parent makes things even worse. I made my first “D” that year in Chemistry and cried (yes, I was that student). My mother eventually pulled through that situation, but was sent to live in a nursing home like facility. They did not take good care of her at all while she was there. Every time we would go visit she would complain about her bed sores and how she missed us. She hated the food, and she really just wanted to leave that place. The stroke affected her speech, so she really couldn’t communicate that well either. My family eventually agreed to have her come home and when she was there I was one of her biggest caretakers. My mother was really sick at this point, and couldn’t do much for herself. She was much like a child, and I did alot for her like she was my child. Imagine being in highschool and having to change your mother’s diaper, colostmy bag, and feed her? Sounds like alot right? I did that, even though it was frustrating at times since it was a big adjustment for both of us. She went through a depresssion, and was very sad many days, but we all did our best to lift her spirits and our own. After a few months she adjusted and things became somewhat normal at my grandmother’s house. She still encouraged me to be a teenager in her own way and would cover for me when I would sneak out the house sometimes. That lady was truly my best friend.
If you are still fortunate enough to have your parents in your life, love on them every day. Don’t just celebrate them on holidays or their birthdays; be thankful for them every day. I love my mother dearly, even though she isn’t here physically. She’s with me always, and I know that she’s proud of the woman that I am becoming. Days like these are usually hard for me, but I am happy for the moments that we did share. She made me realize how short life is, and how you have to truly value every day and live life to the fullest. I’ve been doing just that for a while now, and that’t not going to change any time soon.
Rest on Mommy, and Happy Birthday!