Farewell to mom

My mother passed away today, 5 December 2009, only a few days away from her 80th birthday and after three weeks in intensive care.  Mom had entered police work back in the day when women didn’t even have uniforms and could only work juvenile court. Kids on the block were afraid of her and no one could get away with breaking a window playing stick ball on my street; she’d come out of the house, hands on her hips scanning. I’m sure she thought it was funny. Mom, like my dad, was a child of Depression Era and she knew about hard work, sacrifice and duty to family. She was the oldest of nine kids and when grandmother died giving birth to child number 13 my mom, then 17-years-old, gave up school to help grandfather raise the family. Even after she married dad, mom pursued the family business like her brothers and served in the police force, something my uncles wanted me to mention.

That goes without saying.

Mom always worried about me because I was unique; not like other girls but all the time I had the same spirit of freedom and adventure in me. She worried about me sending my Barbie dolls into combat with my brother’s GI Joe figures in the middle of some mudpile in the backyard and probably wondered how I would turn out. My argument was hey, she got to be in the police and train and carry a gun and look perfectly lady-like, a June Cleaver with a badge and so I could be a girl like her.  She had a career then dedicated her life to me and my brothers and had so much energy, as many mothers do, to take care of everyone but herself.

I got the gist of her pride in me as I was the first to leave home and pursue my life when I joined the service. She didn’t like it but kept her cool…except when it came to telling dad, she told me I joined without asking anyone so I would have to face dad alone, so I did. Mom was an exceptional woman. I could only hope to be even a little bit like her. I commended her pure soul to the Lord today and I felt relief, that after all the struggles in her final days, that she will rest. Her job is done.  I was present right before she left me and now I can head back to the world’s struggles and make my contribution. I wouldn’t want her to think I’m slacking off…or worry about me anymore.

I am because of her. Love your mother and father. Let them know you love them.

I’m beat. I need a break. I will see you all friends and family online after my return to Iraq.


2 Responses to “Farewell to mom”

  1. Mom E. never once treated me as a son-in-law, she always treated me as a son. That made me love her almost as much as my own mother. While we didn’t speak the same language (I was too lazy to learn Spanish) we still had the connection that a mother and son would have. While I was not able to attend the funeral it must be remembered, I had the funeral in my heart and I will always remember her with love and affection

    • And mom took that recipe for her potato salad with her…I couldn’t replicate it even standing next to her as she handed me each ingredient.

      Mom’s pixie dust is what made it great, I guess.

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