Today would have been my mother's sixty fifth birthday. She died nearly ten years ago, just a couple of weeks after turning fifty five.
I remember her being tickled because at fifty five she was eligible at some places for a senior discount, even though now, it amazes me even more than it did ten years ago, just how young fifty five really is. I still have the movie stub with her writing on the back from the theater outing where she received her first senior discount; that's just the kind of thing she did.
Ten years ago at this time I was twenty one years old and pregnant with my second child; my son. I was living in Alaska. I had no phone and minimal internet access. I remember emailing and calling whenever I could. I remember we were reconciling after some disagreement that seemed worth fighting over at the time but not ever since. She was anxious about the impending birth of her grandchild; so was I.
I spoke to her for the last time on a Friday. She was gone two days later on Sunday... four days before my son was born. I could not travel to either of her memorial services in California or New York.
It didn't feel real.
It barely feels real now.
I wonder of the kind of relationship I could and would have had with her if I could have just "kept her" even a little longer. I wasn't ready for my dad to die a year ago but at least I got to be with him more... and the "at least" is truly a lot, no matter how sad and ripped off I feel at times.
I know so much more now... enough to know how little that really is. I feel so much more now... enough to appreciate how big. I love my mom. She was not perfect, because none of us are, and I wouldn't have asked for anyone else in her place. She was my mom.
Happy Birthday, Feliz Cumpleanous, I remember you always, Lillian Garcia Myles.
your daughter Sarah