Editor’s Note: Our guest writer for this year’s Mother’s Day Blog is Anne Elizabeth Rowan. Her story is poignant, heart-wrenching…and filled with truth.
Losing mom hurts.. you don’t have to be the favorite to know it.
I started going to Church. I went because I really needed to rely on something other than myself. From what I gathered, is that most daughters can usually relate, rely on, and recognize a little bit of themselves from their mothers.
I, on the other hand, could not.
My mother was an extremely intelligent, empathetic, and articulate human being. She was the epitome of detail orientated, and she harped the importance of observation and vigilance of surroundings onto her children.
Her children were clearly, me, and another guy. That other guy was her first-born, my brother, my best friend, and “the favorite.” I say “the favorite,” oddly enough… favorably… because in all honesty, he’s my favorite, too.
Even when I write this, I think of what he is going to think. I care about him and his perception of every behavioral action I commence before I even think about how it will affect me. My brother, Michael, has been, and will always be, the Super Glue that held my immediate and nuclear family together.
Silent. Strong. And everlasting…. And if you messed with it, you knew it, for a long time. Have you ever had your fingers stuck together from Super Glue? I know you have, don’t lie.
My mother loved, loved, loved my brother. How could you not? He is a 6’1, with strong Irish characteristics; chubby cheeks when he smiles, with my personality… or do I have his personality?… Or do we have each other’s’ personality? Somewhere along the way, I will say, they have melded, and it’s really weird.
But what I can say, there was definitely a distinction between the first-born, the only boy… and a daughter.
A Daughter and Her Mom
Sometimes, I think, where did I go wrong? I still battle with that, today, especially on Mother’s Day. I wonder, could I have been more upfront? Could I have been more approachable? Could I have been more intelligent? Could I have cleaned my room a little bit more often? Could I have cheered her on to bring me to school? But, I did not do these things.
I was not upfront, approachable, genuinely intelligent, or compassionate in the morning. I was creative, introverted, hardworking, messy, and a chipper eager morning person. How annoying is that? Literally, an oppositional reflection of who she was!
It’s pretty amazing the strength and capacity someone has on you, once they are gone. My mother, as mentioned above, was an extremely unique human. She was more than a person. She was more than a wife.
She was more than a mom.
She was something that I still seek to find the words to describe. At her service, I used the example that she would read the bible at ease; answer Jeopardy questions looking at her stumped family like we were sub-par because she was above average in every single categorical capacity in which you could measure.
Do you know how hard it is to get away with a fib with someone like that? Oh, shush… you know how teenagers are…. I tried. Never won. However, that’s why she made me become the Woman I am today.
I am a lawyer. I am a diligent, detail orientated, hard worker, who really understands the repercussions of ill-willed intention. I understand the impact of lying, and I understand the impact of not following through on promised actions.
Somethings Can’t be Ignored
I don’t regret anything. I’ve had my equitable effort of giving my 110% of my emotional and physical tenure to fulfill the utmost necessity for my mother’s well-being. Unfortunately, there have been trials and tribulations that I don’t wish to recall not only for the audience reading this but also honestly for my selfish reflection on who my mother was.
There were times and times again I would beg my father to get me out of the situation where I blamed him for trapping me in with his wife.
Not to be ignored was my mother’s mental illness. There is no fault in the matter. It ran rapidly in my maternal familial history of health.
The Bayonne Bridge was a site of a copycat suicide of my grandmother and my aunt. Two women, who I’ve never met, however, I embody their genetics and physical characteristics. But, there are even more fatalities within the same methodology of taking their own life within the same historical lineage of familial genealogy. Well, how politically correct is that last sentence?
So let’s get to the point as to why this is actually published on Mother’s Day.
Losing Mom Included Finding Mom
Once upon a time, I was at work, when “the favorite,” called me to ask when the last time I spoke with my mother. I looked at my phone. My heart dropped. That day was a Friday. Last voicemail I had, was from Saturday. When the favorite asked me that question, I automatically knew, that today was our doomsday. Today was the day; I was going to find my mother dead.
I called, called, called, and called again. For all of those phone calls that I consciously decided to ignore, today was the day; I was hoping she would pick up. She didn’t. I sped home, knowing it wasn’t going to change a thing. I promised, PROMISED, my father and the favorite, I would alleviate any concern, once I possibly could. That was a promise I could not keep.
Once I slowed down, I approached my mother’s house. I saw the porch light on. I saw newspapers outside. I knocked on the door. I checked outside. I called her name. I called the phone… about thirty-seven times. I threatened to call the cops. I climbed upon the awning. I knocked on the windows. I banged on the garage door. I cried. I yelled.
I then made the most difficult call I’ve ever had to make. I had to call my favorite human in the entire world. I had to call her favorite person in the entire world. I had to call my best friend, my brother. I had to tell him to hop on a train and make the most dreadful commute back “home.”
I called the Chief of Police on his cell phone, who honestly did not know the reason for my call. I am blessed enough to have worked in a capacity for my local government to contact personnel in an immediate sense for professional matters. Now, since this 2pm on a Friday, he answered lightheartedly. My request was to ask whether or not there were familiar patrolmen on duty to enter my mother’s house.
I had more than an inkling my mother’s life had expired inside.
When the police arrived and entered into the household, my inkling became a reality. The conflicting component of this entire experience, for me, was that even though our genetics seemed to have a very strong routine of premature death, my mother’s life was not taken by an immediate sense of suicide. Her death certificate revealed that she suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease… something… I, for one, did not know about.
At 59 years of age, my mother smoked herself to death. Leaving her husband, her favorite person in the entire world, my brother and me, left here to tread the muddy waters by ourselves.
Eternal Lessons from Mom
I know, I will be fine. But, something I never, ever, want to see again, is the fact that the most brave human, who had the utmost patience for her, have to avoid a situation in such a way, that he knew his limits to not remember her in a light that he did not find favorable.
One thing my mother did with me was push me! God, that was so frustrating! She always pushed me to my limit! She would bring out sides of me that I never knew existed! She made me learn about myself. Now, I know, it was to protect our more favorite person in the entire world.
When I told my brother about the expiration of my mother’s life, he said he was already on his way home. I asked him if I could pick him up from the train station, and him, understanding his limits, told me that he did not want to enter the house or see my mother passed away.
I was so proud of the favorite one. I was so proud that my mother taught him his limits and I understood why she always pushed me to exceed mine.
I’m okay with that. I will always be okay with exceeding my limits. I will always support everyone around me even if I am in the weakest moment of my life. That is the least I can do for everything else I have been given. I have been blessed with the bravest, strong, patient, intelligent, hardworking, encouraging, competitive, and loving familial unit I have ever known.
Simply because our mom has now passed does not change the characteristics we have learned or the lesson we will keep on learning because of her influence.
She was a unique and an amazing woman. You would have soulfully been impressed if you met her.
I hope my words help every reader to realize how important, influential, and impactful your mother is to you. And, the favorite one? He will always know how to be there for me..even as I empty a box of tissues right now.