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Friday, August 19, 2011

Memories Of The Past, Memories In The Making

I'm eight years old, and it is officially the first day of school. I'm off to First Grade in Mrs. Bartley's class. I'm all ready to go in my white, ruffle-neck dress shirt, my purple overalls with the yellow tulip on the front, and my pigtails upon my head.

Being it's no more than a seven-minute walk to school, and back then, my area was pretty darn safe, my parents started out on the journey to my new school along side me, with Sarah, our Corgi. They stopped at the corner of the next street over from us and let me finish the walk on my own. As a big girl.

I remember vaguely, as I turned my head to see my parents still standing there at the corner, after I crossed the street, then crossed to the opposite corner at the end of the block. They waved to me, my dog looking sad and in wonderment of where her "sister" is going off to without her. My mom, I saw wiping tears from her eyes, trying not to fall apart, as most of us mothers do when their babies start trying out their wings.

After waving good-bye and walking out of their sight, I can only imagine how Mom fell apart, and how Dad had to console her on that "lonely" walk back to the house after I made the rest of my way off to school that beautifully warm and sunny morning.

But that would also be the last time she would ever see me take that "big leap" in growing up. Ever. Because the year before I was to start Junior High/Middle School, my mother had passed away after having suffered from a massive stroke and pneumonia.

Yesterday (Thursday, August 18th) my oldest had her Middle School orientation to take a dry run at finding her classes, knowing how to get in to her locker, meet her teachers and to learn the rules.

She has to get on the bus now, about an hour earlier than before, when she attended Elementary School. And she is fine with that. Because she also now gets out about an hour earlier than her siblings.

As my daughter waited outside at the bus stop (which for her, is now across the street) I had the flashbacks. I saw her as a tiny girl again, just starting Preschool. She and I waited for the bus at the top of the hill near our former home. She was SO excited. And I watched as she clomped up each step with her short, stubby little legs, and her huge backpack on her back, as she boarded the bus. It took all that I had to not just lose it right then and there.

Yesterday, it hit me. Not only am I seeing my little girl, my first born, grow up before my very eyes into what will be a stunningly beautiful young woman, but I am witnessing something my mother never was able to have the chance to, and never will. Not with myself, and not with her grandchildren.

I was VERY close to my oldest daughter's age when I lost my mother. And I am only about eight and a half years younger than my mother's age when she died. It pains me to know that my mother has had to miss out on SO much. My marriage. My kids. How I have grown and matured. My overcoming of many medical obstacles.

While I feel blessed and fortunate to be here to see and experience the wonders of my children as they each make their own headway in the world and leave their own marks on the world, it still saddens me that I didn't get the chance to have my mom see all that I can.

So, I guess in a way, I am living life and experiencing these things for the both of us. And I often times wonder what Mom would say, think or do. What would she say about how my life has turned out? What would she say about the man that I married or how I am raising and rearing my children?

Sadly, those are questions that will forever haunt me and be left unanswered. And to this day, it is still hard for me to come to terms with that fact.

1 comment:

Patty said...

What would your Mom say?

I think she would be very proud of her daughter because, in the time you were blessed to have her, she made a positive impact on your life.

Also, I feel that everything you do is somehow guided by her presence; she's watching over you and smiling.

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