My mom passed away in February of 2020. She battled multiple myeloma for ten years before succumbing to this ugly disease. After my dad passed away just three months prior, she lost her fight. When he passed away, her health declined quickly. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to watch.
I Choose What To Remember
My mom’s declining health is the most recent memory that I have of her. However, I choose to overshadow those memories with the 40 years of memories that I will forever have in my heart. You see, it is those memories that push me to get out of bed each day. Those memories are what give me the motivation to strive to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. Those memories make me want to be the mom that she was for me for my own children.
Growing up, I knew very early on that I was the center of my mom’s Universe. You want to know how I knew that? Because she told me. Often. And because she showed me. Mom made it a priority to spend time with me. We played games together (Gin Rummy was our favorite), watched television together, cooked together, did each other’s hair and makeup, stayed up late (well as late as she could tolerate), and so much more.
The Fun Times with Mom
I can remember going shopping regularly with Mom, eating out at restaurants, traveling to the beach, and taking my first ride on an airplane with her. It was like having the coolest best friend in the world. But it wasn’t. She made sure to remind me when I got brave enough to sass her (which happened way more than it should have) that she wasn’t one of my little friends. (Raise your hand if you’ve heard that one before.) I’d, of course, roll my eyes (and get into even more trouble), but ultimately, I’d get back on track because I couldn’t stand the thought of her being mad at me for too long (which she never was).
I also remember her teaching me things like how to take care of myself, do my makeup, dress appropriately for occasions, and how to carry myself as a woman. She taught me how to be a friend, how to put my children first, and how to work hard and be independent.
I cannot count the number of times that we have laughed endlessly and the number of times that she crawled into bed with me because I was crying uncontrollably about something a friend or some dumb boy had said or done to hurt my feelings.
The Not So Fun Memories (At Least Not to A Teenager)
I can’t recall the number of times that she told me no when I asked to do something or go somewhere with my friends, nor the number of times I swore to never speak to her again for ruining my life, but I know this: she never allowed my anger to overpower her love for me. She would somehow make staying in and playing Gin Rummy and looking at movies with her way cooler than any event that I was missing.
Mom didn’t just have that effect on me. She had it on everyone around her. She attracted people. She made things fun. She made things special. She made things memorable.
I still remember her telling me when she had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma back in 2009. I also remember her immediately demanding that I dry my tears when I started to cry. She was prepared to fight, and that’s what she did. She gracefully navigated her way through harsh treatments, trial drugs, perpetual pain, fatigue, nausea, and whatever else was thrown her way.
She mustered up the strength to cook holiday meals, plan birthday parties, weddings, graduation celebrations, and other family events.
She attended church events, traveled for family vacations, worked a part-time job, and did several other things that I’m still trying to figure out where she got the energy to do them.
Thankful for the Memories
I say all this to say that Mom was simply amazing. I can sit here all day and write about her. In fact, most days I do. I jot down memories that I have of her so that I can remember them on the days that I have difficulty getting out of bed because I’ve cried myself to sleep the night before.
I am thankful for the time that I had with her. I am thankful for the lifetime of memories that I have of her. I am thankful for the friends in her life who can fill in the spaces where my memory fades because I was too young to truly remember or understand certain things.
I am thankful for the hundreds (literally) of photographs that I have of her. I am thankful for all of the clothes, jewelry, and other trinkets that I have of hers that help me to have a piece of her with me every single day.
I miss my mom so very much. But I am so thankful for the memories that I have that have wonderfully served to get me through each day without her.
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Hello Cherith, I also remember the times we shared together. My most memorable day was the day after we buried my mama (which was one of her best friends). Barbara took care of all day. All sisters and our children from sunup to sundown! She cared and she showed us. That will always be with me. I love you guys!
She LOVED kids and she LOVED helping others! She loved your family so much!
Thanks for sharing your stories of your mother. Enjoyed reading it. She always call and say hello cuz my friend. I really miss her calls.
Glad you enjoyed it! She was certainly one of a kind.
Hello Cherish… I don’t know if you remember me, but I knew your parents very well. Your mom, Mrs. Bessie Ashley and Mrs Irene Taylor would always sit together with my mom (Flois Player) at the Men’s Winterboro Baseball games….many years ago. I, too, lost my mom in 2012 to cancer. Reading your memories about your mom reminded me so much of my relationship with my mom. We were so close. I was always kinda quiet and didn’t go out much as a teenager. Instead, I always wanted to stay at home with my moma. Your story is beautiful. I didn’t see your mom very often, but when I did, she would always tell me how pretty I was…if she only knew, I thought the very same of her.
Hey Wendy! Thanks so much for reading! I miss her terribly, but I am so thankful for the memories that we shared. I don’t know if she ever met a stranger or ever had an enemy. I appreciate your kind words about her.
Beautiful tribute to your sweet Mom. I am going to call mine right now!! ❤️
Thanks so much Lana! I miss those nightly phone calls so much!
Beautiful! I loved me some Barbara!
And she loved you!
Beautiful article. It brought back precious memories of my mom.
Thank you so much! I have fond memories of your mother, too! She was always so kind to my family!
Thank you for sharing this. Your transparency is such a blessing. I am still struggling but your post has definitely given me the boost I need to write about the great memories and focus on those.
Blessings to you as we navigate life without our best girls ❤️❤️
I’m definitely still struggling, but writing is such a release for me! It’s been nine months since mom passed, but the wound is still so fresh. I think about her ALL the time. I’m glad this was helpful to you. It blesses me to know that I’ve blessed someone. Write your heart out, Girl! It’s so healing!
Awesome and Well said! Your mom was a jewel and she LOVED hard as well as fought hard. She made everything fun for everyone especially the kids. She also mad sure we always ate! I am laughing now thinking about the time I spent with her and we went to chapel. Well that day the topic was lust. We both looked at each other and bursted out in laughter😂😂 She was one special lady. Please know that we keep you lifted in prayer. God is with you. We love you❤️
Yes! She was one special lady! I love to hear people sharing memories of her!
Such a beautiful post about your sweet mom! Thank you for sharing your memories of her!
She was such a special woman. I miss her so much. Thanks for reading!
What a beautiful woman who loved so, so, so much! I think you were as good for her as she was for you. Thank you for sharing her with us as you continue to live with her in a different way. <3
Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. I am so glad that we have connected through SJW!