On July 7, 2018, my life changed forever. This is the day that my mom died. When I wrote Part 1 of this story, she had just passed away, and I had every intention of finishing my thoughts the next week. As it turns out, it has now been several weeks and I still don't really know what to say.
There has been such a clash of emotions and feelings and just the overwhelming finality of her passing. Even though she and I didn't always see things the same way, she had the unyielding love and capacity for forgiveness that only a mother can have. In spite of all the mistakes and challenges that I created in her life, even as she laid dying, she forgave me all of those past mistakes and said "I love you" one last time. A few hours later...she was gone.
Mom often viewed her life as one wasted or unfulfilled. On this, we disagree mightily. In spite of a failed marriage, she managed to raise my brother and I to be (and I'm not meaning to boast or brag) successful and productive people. We both went to college and have had successful careers...we both got married and have remained married to our respective wives for many years...we both have children who themselves have gone on to college and are beginning families of their own. At the time of her passing, my mom had 5 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
There are those that argue that the children or grandchildren you leave behind are not your legacy, but I strongly disagree with that belief. No, my mom didn't leave behind a successful company, millions of dollars, she didn't cure cancer, or created priceless works of art. What she DID leave behind was a beautiful family of children and grandchildren that are all productive people...people who, in their lifetimes, will impact thousands of lives.
I remember when I was younger, my grandfather would tell me that, no matter what it was that I was a part of, I should ALWAYS try to leave it better than I found it. Well, I truly believe that the world was a better place for my mom being here. She made the world a better place for a lot of people...like her mom and dad, who she cared for until they passed away...like my brother and me, who she provided with a loving and nurturing home...like her grandkids...and her friends...and...well, I could go on and on.
No, mom didn't leave the world with treasures or any flashy or notable "accomplishments"...But her legacy is this family of ours that will carry on what she began. I am a living legacy to her...I am my mother's son. I am a "Mama's Boy" till the day that I too take my last breath.
I love you mom! I'm so very proud that you were my mother and that I had you in my life! I don't believe that a day will go by that I don't think of you and what you meant to me...I hope that I can always be the kind of son, husband, and father that would make you proud! I am your baby boy!
PEACE & LOVE
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)