Eleven years ago today, our life was forever changed. A big hole was left when my mom passed away after a short battle with breast cancer. My dad put it best when we were sitting in a support group for people who had loved ones who were terminally ill. A question was posed and Dad responded to it. He said, “The one who is going to suffer the most from our loss will be Julie.” He was right. My mom wasn’t just my mother. She was my confidant and she was my support system. She was not just a Grandma to the kids. She was Mimi, and she was full of love.
We could push one another’s buttons like nobody’s business. We could be angry and not speaking one minute and then in the next minute we would talk it out. She had so much influence over me that when it came time to name Debbie, she managed to convince me that the middle name Vince and I had chosen, needed to be changed. True story. We liked Deborah Arianna. She did not. We changed the name. She was stubborn, strong-willed, and outgoing. Mom had a sense of humor and a contagious laugh. She was loyal and traditional. We didn’t always agree but we could come to an understanding and then compromise.
I miss our walks and talks and shopping trips. If anyone could sniff out a pair of pants or top for $2, it was Mom. We connected and bonded, and I know that had she lived, she would have been completely involved with Joey and Debbie. We would have planned Joey’s Bar Mitzvah together, and more than likely, she would have been advocating for services for Debbie sooner than I did.
I think about the many phone conversations we had. I miss hearing “her” ring. Hell, I even miss arguing with her. I wish she would have had more time to spend with Joey and Debbie. She would have really enjoyed watching them grow and learn. She was so into being Mimi. She was there right at the beginning and I wish she could have stayed until the end.
When Joey was first born, my parents came over every day for the first two weeks. I remember panicking the first day they didn’t come. Joey, literally, had a two hour crying jig. Nothing was soothing him. I finally relented and called Mom. She asked me if I wanted her and Dad to come over. Of course, I said, “Yes.” Although, it was probably more like, “YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!” Anyway, the very second she took Joey from my arms, he stopped crying. He wanted his Mimi. And, for the record, yeah, I was jealous. Now though, I look back on that story fondly, and I am in awe of the special bond they had from the moment he was born.
I am grateful for the time we did have together. I am grateful for the laughter. I am grateful for her wisdom. I am grateful for the love. I am grateful for the life she gave me. I miss her every day. I hear songs that remind me of her. I watch the kids and think about her. I remember her during special times. I remember her on holidays. I love her and wish that she was here with us now. Eleven years ago today our lives were forever changed when Mom passed away.