Mom would have loved sharing this week's work drama. Together, we would have analyzed it from every angle. She might have said things like, 'I think you're pushing yourself too hard,' or 'are you sure you want that position?' In the end, though, she would have said what I most need to hear, 'know how much you're loved and I wish you the very best.'
Tuesday, the night before my interview, I longed to call her so that my experience could be reflected through her eyes. I had no idea how much I valued this until now, when life is in flux and I need the grounding connection that only a mother can provide.
Knowing I will never again be able to draw her into my world, or that whatever I might achieve, she will not be here to see it, is a lonely feeling indeed.
Wednesday night, I called Dad, just to check in and see how he was doing. I knew that if I talked about my day, and missing Mom, I would just blubber into the phone, which didn't seem helpful to him. So instead, we chatted for some time about his week and his plans for the upcoming weekend. Then he said, 'so what happened in your day?'
I lost it.
When I could, I told him exactly how I felt while he listened and empathized. Then I began sharing my day with him; the interview, the process and my feelings about it all. Even though our conversation was different than one I might have had with Mom, it was comforting and helped me feel less alone. As our talk was winding down, nearing goodbye, Dad said, "know that I love you and always wish you the very best.'
Even in grief, gems emerge.
photo of my mother in May 2008