Thursday, February 27, 2020

It Has Been 7 Years- Missing My Mom, Today and Always -2/27/20

6 years ago-
My mom passed away a year ago today. I miss her every day. I often still say things about her (in the present tense) as if she is still with us. What did I learn from her? Always enjoy the sun. Even if it is too hot. Sit in it. Breathe it in. A little sun screen goes a long way. You are never too good to drink from a garden hose. My friends did want to still play with me even when I was done with the dishes and dusting the shelves. Enjoy your fresh veggies from the garden. Always stop to smell the flowers, pet the pussy willows, scratch a dog behind the ear, wave to your neighbor and talk baby talk to every baby. Never forget to wear a slip. Never pass up a good facial moisturizer. If a boy gives you roses, he is infatuated with you. If a boy gives you tulips, marry him. Make good friends that will last a lifetime, you will need them.  Cherish your children. Love your grandparents and treasure the time you have with them. Seek Jesus daily. He will never fail you. -The last part is what I hold most dear.

5 years ago-
My mom read Edgar Allan Poe to me as a child. She also read Shakespeare and Little House on the Prairie. She liked the movies Pretty Woman, Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments and found novelty in Twin Peaks. She loved Russian Tea and found a berry wine cooler was discovered way too late in her life. She bought a new bible every time she saw one on sale. She hoarded office supplies such as paper clips, envelopes and note pads. She loved watching vcr tapes and never fully switched over to dvds. She liked her long phone cord and held onto it much longer than technologically necessary. She spoke often of Norman Allen Koluhiokalani. She spoke of her desire to return to Europe some day. She couldn't imagine a day going by without talking to Angie and I. I couldn't get over the fact that she knew more people than I thought even existed. I learned the importance of giving even when you have nothing, because the truth is, you always have more than you think. Today, I remember my mom. I miss my mom. Today, I just love my mom.

4 years ago-
"I picked up the phone this morning. I so wanted to talk to you. To share with you. To tell you I loved you. To tell you my heart was heavy. To pray with you. You didn't answer. You haven't answered for a while now. But I keep picking up the phone. I know the outcome won't change. I do it more out of habit. Out of want. Out of desire to speak to you. Once. Again. Each day. When Zach speaks 16 spontaneous words in a row. When Lily comes home with yet again another amazing art project. When Zach tells me he misses you. When Lily reads Little Women and Jane Eyre and says she knows you would enjoy it. When I have watched a movie and can't wait to share it with you. When I am struggling and just need you to tell me everything will be ok. These years go by too quickly. Does it get easier? I am sure it will. But not today. Today I ache. I ache for a hug and hand hold and smile of reassurance. Today I miss you. Maybe even a little more every day. But I know you share in these long tiring days. I know you are partaking in the joys and triumphs and praying in times of struggle and grief. I know you. I love you. I miss you. I will pick up the phone tomorrow. Out of habit. Out of want. Out of desire to speak to you."
--excerpt from Speak to You

3 years ago-
"Just love him. Love him like your life depended on it." Best parenting advice I ever received from my mom. My mom passed away four years ago today. And I miss her so much. She always knew what to say, and sometimes when it was important to say nothing at all. She asked me once how she had possibly been so blessed to be Angela’s and my mom. Oh no, it was Angie and I that were blessed to be the daughters of a woman who chased after life with wild abandon.

2 years ago-
She didn't once tell me she didn't have time. She always said, rest a bit, come and sit with me awhile. She would drop whatever she was doing and take time to look me in the eyes and connect with me. She once said she would sit with me all day and she did.
I was ill when I was 14, and I thrashed in pain at night. My legs hurt constantly. She sat with me, made sure I had heat packs and sang over me. She read the Bible to me. She prayed over me. She advocated for adult muscle relaxers and pain meds knowing the risk of addiction was high. She knew what I needed to get the pain under control.
Two months later, she had me off the pain meds and muscle relaxers she brought me 3 days a week to physical therapy and promised me that I would be ready to go to school in September. She said I would be going to school without canes or a walker. She believed it was possible when I did not.
My mom taught me about faith, perseverance and strength. She taught me about advocating on my own behalf and being a woman of my word. She taught me what I needed do know to be a wife, a mom, a woman in this crazy world. She loved me. Encouraged me and desired to see me succeed. But mostly she loved me.
Our mom passed away five  years ago today. Not a day passes that I don't think of her and smile. She was a warrior mom. And I too, hope to be like her someday. 💜

1 year ago-
Our mom passed away 6 years ago today. Talk about a dearly missed mom. She was a talker. She once walked up to Paul Wellstone at the Minnesota State Fair and said, "My name is Jo Cook and I think we should be friends." She saw the opportunity and took it. She needed his help on behalf of a friend. He instantly took to our mom's infectious energy and charismatic presence.
She was a force to be reckoned with. She could organize costumes for an entire dance school. Fund raise and send an entire high school band to The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Rose Bowl Parade. She could organize an art auction to raise money for local EMT's and much needed equipment. But her time to shine when she advocated on behalf of a treasured friend or beloved family member. It could have been finding the right doctor. Getting someone into treatment. Helping a friend get a Visa and stay in this country. She loved unconditionally. She loved fiercely. She loved courageously. Often never receiving anything in return. But she loved. And she kept on loving people until she passed.
Today I was thinking about music and movies and how much she loved finding new music. She would have adored Lauren Daigle. She would have swooned singing Sam Smith songs. And she would have wanted to be best friends with Lady Gaga and wanted A Star Is Born on repeat. She also would have commented daily how Bradley Cooper was "such a fine young man".
Not a day goes by that I do not think of my mom and miss her. And not a day goes by when I don't feel the need to share a story about her with anyone that will listen. Today, the listener was Cathy Stgerwald of Carver Tax Service. Bless her for having a compassionate heart and a listening ear.

Today. It has been 7 years. 
I sat to drink my coffee this morning and wondered how she did it. How she tackled each day without coffee. She never drank coffee until later in life and then it was a designer brew with lots of creamer and sugar. She never needed the caffeine. But she enjoyed her Tab and her Diet Cokes. She never needed the pick me up that I depend on every morning before work. I wonder how she organized her reading material. What books took priority and what books could be addressed later.  I wonder if I could figure out an estimate of how many cards and letters and words of encouragement she had written over the years. She wrote to my friends at college, she wrote cards and letters to my kids. She wrote in books and left special notes for Angie and I to discover at a later date. She wrote silly notes like her mom, my grandma Charlotte did, that didn’t make any sense but still make me laugh. I wonder if she would have asked to see the new Little Women 6 or even 10 times by now.  I wonder if she would want to talk after each Outlander show to try an brainstorm about possible outcomes. I wonder if she would have cried as much as I do when watching Lily prepare for Aladdin. I know she would oooh and aaah over her gorgeous costume and her heart would soar over the beautiful melodies Lily is preparing to share in weeks time on opening night. I know she would be on the prowl for each notebook, every sharpie, every piece of perfect paper for Zach and that she would sitting with him at the dining room table encouraging him and observing in awe as he works on another artistic creation. There are things that I wonder, and there are things that I know.  There are two main things that I know today that are true. One, our mom loved Angie and I so much and she did an amazing job pouring Truth into us daily. Two, she is missed beyond measure.  

7 years. It seems like yesterday I was holding her hand and singing to her and praying with her.  7 years. I kissed her forehead and said goodnight as I needed to go home and sleep in my own bed.  7 years. Angie called to tell me that she was called Home. 7 years. Today, I remember my mom. Today,  I love my mom. Today, I will share stories of my mom with everyone I know.  

Missed and Treasured. Jo Cook- 1945-2013

1 comment:

Brass Knuckles

         I love telling stories. I also love retelling stories that aren't mine. Stories that have been shared with me. Stories overhear...