Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Talk With Mom

This past Sunday was Mother's Day.  As I wished many a Happy Mother's Day, I reflected back on memories of my mom, the late Sarah Waymer.  Mother's Day is a tough holiday for me.  I see lots of mothers and daughters attending brunch and doing other cool stuff.  My mom died 10 years ago this month.  In fact, she died a week after Mother's Day in 2001. 
I've been without my best friend for a decade.  It would be great to have an opportunity to sit down and have just an hour long conversation with my mom.  I'd love to catch her up on what has happened and ask her what I never had the chance to.  For this Tuesday's Talks, I have this dream conversation with my mom.
Dear Mom,
It's been way too long since we've chatted.  The last somewhat happy memory I had was us watching General Hospital from your hospital room.  My boss was nice enough to let me take a two hour lunch to visit you and to feed you since you didn't want to eat.  Cancer makes you lose your appetite.  You always enjoyed watching your favorite soap opera.  You'd be very pleased to know that it's still on and that Sonny got married.
So much has happened in the world in general and in my personal life.  Thank goodness you missed the horrific events of September 11, 2001.  If the Cancer hadn't done you in, the tragedy that struck the nation would have.  Thankfully we didn't know anyone who perished that day.  As an adopted New Yorker, I know a piece of you would never have been the same.
You passed away shortly before my first television episode aired.  I was trying so hard to get all the research and re-enactments done quickly, but things get caught up in post-production.  You missed my debut by a few months.  I remembered how you never wanted me to go into television.  Yet, you stood by me and became my greatest amount of support.  When I was having difficulty researching these true-crime cases, you were always a shoulder to lean on.
I also had my first boyfriend a few years later.  It lasted for a few years, but you never had the opportunity to see me bring a date home.  I wonder if you would have liked him.  As I recalled, you wanted me to marry a reverend.  You told me to stay away from jocks.  Okay, I've gone out with a few of those, but you were right in the end. 
Mom, you always told me to go out and explore.  That I have.  Not as much as I wanted to.  I've gone on a cruise to the Caribbean, Toronto, numerous US cities and a few cities in Spain.  Traveling is very liberating and humbling.  I can't wait to head back out.  I still have the travel bug.  Hopefully one day I'll reach two of the cities you always wanted to visit: Honolulu and London.
As you predicted, I ended up in Chicago.  Don't know if that's a blessing or a curse.  It's different from the east coast.  I think you had a crazy idea I was going to be the next Oprah.  That's probably why you thought I'd end up in Chicago.  Since I've been here, hardly any friends or family have visited me.  I get by as I can.  Traveling back east, writing and long phone calls help. 
I'd like to think we had a good relationship when things didn't involve my education and upbringing.  When we were just talking it was more like a sister-sister relationship.  There were a few things I would have loved to ask you that I never did.   
I know it was considered taboo back in the 70's to have a kid late in life.  You never thought that you would have kids.  What was going through your mind when you found out you were expecting me? 
You always got upset when there was any mention of wars or anything disturbing involving our military.  I know you were very upset when your brother Linwood lied about his age, joined the US Navy and then got killed at sea a few weeks before WWII ended.  What was Uncle Lenwood like?  I know you were young when he died.  Grandma doesn't like to talk about it.  I vaguely remember hearing you tell me about that horrific day when representatives from the Navy showed up to your home and informed you of what happened.  You said grandma let out a deathly scream.  You also told me he was a good guitar player.  I'm studying guitar now. Maybe one day I'll take up piano like you did.  Uncle Lenwood looks exactly like you.  Grandma still has a picture of him in his Navy uniform hanging in the living room.
You know kids always want to please their parents.  What were some of your proudest moments involving me?  I would think it was the times I played my violin, graduation and awards night.  To a mom it could be just being a good kid and not getting in trouble.
I remember Sunday, May 20, 2001 very clearly.  You died shortly after I left the hospital.  Per dad's request, he wanted me to go home, get some rest and come back later.  I found out you died in his arms sometime during my commute back home.  I always wondered if you were upset with me for not be there.  Till this day, I still can't discuss that day with my dad. A part of me believes you knew you were going and didn't want me to see you suffer anymore.  That was how you were.  You always cared about someone else more than yourself.
I'll close by asking if there was anything you wanted to tell me, but didn't have the chance.  We all feel that we have plenty of time left to say what we want to.  In reality we're only on this Earth for a short time.  Until we meet again.
Your daughter,

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