I've been thinking about her a lot today, and I miss her so much. She was, in all honesty, my best friend. When I needed someone to talk to, she was there to listen. When I was sick, she cared for me like only a mother a can. And when I needed to cry, she held me and let me cry as long and as hard I wanted to.
We also had great times together. She is in most of my best memories. She took us camping for a full week every summer when we were young. As a single mom of four kids (now five, but back then she had four), I don't know how she did it. Taking my two kids camping for one night is a huge production, and I have a husband to help me! Those summer camping days were filled with adventure, laughter, and love.
She made Christmas absolutely magical. She spared no expense when it came to decorating the house. It was so beautiful at Christmastime. The tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, and stayed until New Year's Day. She was meticulous is her method of hanging Christmas lights; whether it was on the window, the mantel, or the roof, the lights were perfectly spaced and in perfect little rows. None of this "wrap a string of lights around the tree and call it good". Oh, no! Each branch had lights carefully wrapped around it from the center to the outer edges, and back to the center again. Her method of wrapping presents was meticulous also. I've never seen anyone wrap gifts as perfectly as she did! Each one was complete with fancy ribbons, bows, and a little gift tag to match the paper. And the amazing part is she enjoyed every minute of it!
She gave me such a wonderful childhood and taught me so much. It breaks my heart to think that she can't be here now that I am a mother. Oh, how she would love my little boys! I think of how much fun she would have with them, and how she would love to watch them grow. She loved children, and especially babies. She had two grandchildren before she died, and she adored them. I know she would adore all nine (soon to be ten!) of them now if she were here. I'm so sad that my kids are missing out on having thier Grandma here. How much fun they would have with her!! But I know that families can be forever, and we will be with her again one day.
Of course, every time I think of her, inevetably I start to feel regret and guilt for not being better to her while she was here. She suffered terribly the last few years of her life, and I wish I had been there more for her. Much of her time was spent in bed, and I was off with friends when I should have been by her side so she wouldn't be alone in her pain. She loved to read, but had trouble with her eyes and was unable to read for long periods. I should have read to her. I should have talked to her. I should have been with her more to comfort her and hold her and love her like she loved me. I'm sorry, Mom.
She was an amazing person. I could go on for hours, but I should probably call it a night. Here are a few photos of my wonderful mother.