It is well past midnight and I am sitting at my instrument of enlightenment with a melancholy circling my head that needs to be addressed. I am thinking about my Dear Sainted Mother. It is four years and six months since she went to live with Jesus and His Mother. I think of her every day and have yet to fill the hole in my heart. I have not been able to put any more words on the page to tell you about her. I could not for Mother’s Day, or her birthday. My Deifiúr and I make sure that we call each other and talk about her. I am going to cry myself to sleep tonight and that is not a bad thing. I am not depressed and I am not trying to be morose. Well maybe a little, after all, I am not using any big words tonight. I am not trying to be verbally clever. I am just telling you that I miss my Mommy. That is what I called her till the day she died. That is the word I use at night when I ask God to watch over her. That is the way I can tell the difference between her and the legend that she was.
What follows is a repost from another web page I have. It truly expresses how I am feeling right now:
“That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.” This is a piece of wisdom that I received in an e-mail the other day. It came to me while I was in class. The students were reading and writing (as any good English student should be) and the secretary came in and told me that I had, somehow, not posted all my grades. Well, I had to drag my posterior end over to the computer and enter into combat within the electronic realm. While there I checked my e-mail to see if some editor had received the benefit of my prayers and yielded to the actuality that I AM the next great literary sensation.
What I received for my efforts was a message from a dear friend of mine of a Cajun cultural influence. It was a rather extensive list of the thing that one will learn if pursuing a righteous life. I’ve read the same list many time before, yet, it teaches me something each time it circles through my life. Given who sent it this time I felt it germane to pay it heed. My Cajun friend is wise beyond the century plus years that is between us.
As I read through these words of wisdom, I found myself stopping at the word “Mom.” As many of you know, I lost my Dear Sainted Mother almost two years ago. In the intervening time span I have spent a significant amount of time mourning her. I have found myself with (still!) an empty part of my day at three o’clock in the afternoon. This represents the time I would call her…right after school on my way home. I would drive and try to hear what she was saying as she told me the latest news. You know, what the cousins were up to, who pissed her off that day, the state of health of my relatives of her generation who were still alive. I cling to this activity for just cause. At the end of every conversation we had a ritual where I would say “I love you Mommy”, and she would say “I love you too My Timmy.”
I miss that so much it hurts. I sit in my classroom, weeping and hoping that the kids aren’t watching. Not that seeing me cry is necessarily a bad thing, it is just that I have somewhat of an image to maintain here and, as I have said before, these are not necessarily “Going My Way” kids. But wait…one of them is getting up…walking to my desk…he sees before I can turn around…crap! I expect it to become a major issue where he asks me as loud as he can, “Why are you crying Mr. T?” I sit in dread while waiting for the entire class to join in.
He doesn’t say a word. He walks around my desk and gives me a hug and tells me that sometimes he needs to cry when everybody is looking. He tells me it’s hard to stop once it starts, and he doesn’t like the other kids make fun of him. He whispers in my ear that he loves me, and returns to his seat.
All of a sudden it’s 1962. I’m running from the bus stop while sobbing uncontrollably. I run into the house and throw myself into my mother’s arms. She rocks me and tells me “it’s okay my Timmy. Tell me what happened.” That’s who I was all my life to her. “My Timmy.” She rocks me and softly whispers to me… “ ssshhhuusshh, Tell me what happened.”
Senior citizen that I am, I can not remember the incident or action that felicitated this petit mal. I do remember that after my eyes dried we went through the routine…“I love you Mommy”, “I love you too My Timmy.” After that it was ice cream time. “Got a little heartburn…you?” This last comment represented another childhood ritual, but I’ll leave for another page.
The bell rings and it is suddenly my conference period. Let the teardrops begin! Would that it could be. Now I face a file of kids coming in and getting one last taste of me for the day. This one is sorry for his behavior and won’t do it again. The next wants to raid my empty candy drawer. Another wants to know how to graduate early. I accept the apology, give out my last Hershey’s kiss, and tell the last one that domestic farmyard animals will circumnavigate the solar system before he graduates if he doesn’t hand in that one page essay I gave him three days ago.
Somehow I feel better. I get the test I need copying and my grade book and go to the office. Sitting and crying just isn’t the same without someone to hold you while you weep and say “sshhhuusshh, tell me what happened.”
I walk down the hall and suddenly I’m in that room in the hospital. I lean down to kiss her forehead and she jumps. She asks me what I am doing. I tell her and she asks for a kiss. Then comes the last words we ever spoke to each other…“I love you Mommy”, “I love you too My Timmy.”
Oh how I wish I could say it again.