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The last time March 13 fell on a Friday was the day Mom died — Friday, March 13, 2009. It had been a day of watchful waiting for Daddy, Donnie, Melody, Joseph, and me…knowing that the time was close and wanting her to stop hurting, but so dreading having her gone. And yet when the time came for her to join our family members in Heaven, it was a quiet, peaceful moment of release from pain and earthly cares. I wouldn’t want to do that day over, but I am eternally grateful that Mom was at home in the midst of her family — in the living room, actually — rather than in some hospital among strangers.

In the six years since she died I have called on her for help so many times, and prayed for the wisdom to approach things from her always unique perspective. She is the strength I draw on when I don’t know which way to turn, as well as the one I credit for my serendipitous decisions. My biggest regret is that she wasn’t here to see me living happily on my own or here with Georgia and her family. But I think she had a lot to do with my life-changing decisions, as I realized with her passing that I shouldn’t spend any more time spinning my wheels.

I’m posting a photograph of Mom with the Lionel train she got for Christmas 1980 (she had wanted one since she was a girl), because it says so much about her free spirit. Just looking at this picture makes me smile.

Mom and her Lionel train, Christmas 1980.

Mom and her Lionel train, Christmas 1980.

I’m staying tonight at Aunt Betty’s before going to Stamp Camp tomorrow. We will share stories and more than a few tears. With Mom gone, her big sister has lost the person who filled in the blanks in her family memories. I am a poor second choice, but I still remember so many things that no one else does.

I don’t want this to be a sad post, because Mom wasn’t a sad person and wouldn’t have wanted that. She actually wouldn’t want me commemorating the day in any way. She always said, “I only remember birth days, not death days.” But nobody else can fill the hole in my heart, so I will always remember this day. Happy 6th birthday in Heaven, Mom. We love you.

Mom and her girls, February 2009

Mom and her girls, February 2009

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