Thursday, May 3, 2012

Miss you, mom

SEVEN YEARS AGO today, I was sitting in a courtroom at a sentencing for a particularly nasty sex offender. Funny, how you remember certain things.

A Herald-Whig employee, Phil Carlson, walked to the courthouse and handed me a note to call my brother. I did, from the state's attorney's office.

"We lost our mom today," my brother said. And the world started spinning.

I walked back to the office through Jail Alley, blubbering like a baby. I believe I wrote the story about the sentencing, and it sucked, but I didn't care. My mom had died of a blood clot, just a few months before retiring as a school teacher.

The rest of the week is a blur. We spread her ashes on my Uncle Peter's Hill on Lake Michigan. It was good to be with my brother and sisters and friends and family. The night we buried her we had people over at my sister's house in Grand Rapids, and the beer helped wash away a lot of pent up anger as a fierce thunderstorm raged and we argued about the Red Wings and life itself.

So I'm remembering seven years ago today and seven year ago this week, but mostly I'm remembering my mom, a gentle soul who had ups and downs in life, but never lost her laughter and spirit.

I miss her calling me and saying, "Hi Rod!" I miss her scribbled letters and her optimism. I miss her fierce sense of independence. I miss her love for her kids and her grandkids, and how much she wanted to retire and travel to see them.

Miss you, mom. A piece of me went with you. I will see you again.

I will always remember you.

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