When I think about what the word "mother" means to me, at first, my mind goes blank. But once I snap back to reality my heart is rushed with thoughts of loneliness, frustrations and hurt.
I suppose it's true for everyone in the world, but the word "mother" means something to me that is unique to me only. No one else feels and thinks the same exact things as I do, when they hear the word.
I think of how you were a warrior in the Lord's battle. The thousands of prayers you sent up for those around you. I remember the hours of time you devoted to studying the Word. I value the pride you took in teaching me to devote time to God too.
I think of watching you make pumpkin rolls at Thanksgiving time. Of helping you make peanut brittle and sugar cookies at Christmas time. I hate how you had the frosting recipe in your head, and never wrote it down for me.
I think of rearranging all the quilt squares on the floor upstairs, again and again, until it was just right. I remember all those late nights in the stamping room making cards for fun, or all those scrapbooking retreats where I always got twice as many pages done as you.
I think of tears shed at the family meeting when you announced that you had cancer. I feel once again the trembling, the fear of the unknown. I recall the prayers we spoke that night.
I think of the dinner when you found hair in your food, once again. I see your face in the mirror as you tried on your first wig. I hear your laughter as you say, "I save so much money on shampoo, but spend it all on hats."
I think of driving you to chemo treatments. Of waiting outside the doors as they stuck you with the needle one more time, then I would come back in and we would eat lunch together in those big chairs.
I think of the laser light shows, and all those sharpie marks on your skin. I hear the radiologist's words describing what the computers were doing. I hated all those boring magazines in the waiting room.
I think of when you fell over in the department store when going Christmas shopping, because of the pain in your leg. I'm thankful for the honest chiropractor. I feel the pain of the words, "the cancer has spread."
I think of the four large bolts they used to screw your "tiara" into your skull. I remember coming into your room after the stereotactic radio surgery, and you asking me, "Do I look like a princess?"
I think of the times I cared for you while the others were at work. The sponge baths and tea times, all those oblong pink pills. Lifting you up, and walking side by side to get to the bathroom.
I think of that day, not wanting to leave the house for basketball practice. The slow breathing, foam flowing, body stiffening. The end of the buzz from the oxygen machine, them taking your body away.
I think of choosing out your casket and your headstone. I still feel the emptiness of the silence as they lowered your body into the ground. I feel the tree bark against my back as I stare down at your plot.
I think of the empty chair at the dinner table. All those drawers of clothes, the day your closet no longer smelled like you. The jewelry box that now stands in my room.
I think of wanting you to see me cross the stage to receive my diploma. I recall the candle flame Dad and I lit as I walked down the aisle to meet my groom. I wanted your help making that recipe last week.
I think of how I hurt every August when we remember your death. We all feel depressed every March when your birthday comes along, and I always cry in church on Mother's Day.
I think of how I would never want to feel anything different than what I do, when I hear the word, "Mother."