You never know what you have until it’s gone.
I always believed in that. It seemed logical enough, and after thinking about it, I even found myself consciously cherishing moments I was spending with a friend or just doing something I enjoyed. Yet, I never fully realized just how deep the meaning of that one sentence really was. Until last September, that is.
September 29, 1989 is a day that I will always remember, although in a way, it is a day I really don’t want to remember. This was a day when all time stopped, and my heart and life shattered into a million pieces.
This was the day my mother died.
It wasn’t like we weren’t expecting it. She had cancer ever since I was a small child. It’s one of those things you know is inevitable, but you don’t really believe it will ever happen. Mothers are forever; they’re a constant part of our life, a part so constant and so close that we often take them for granted.
The reality is that they can disappear so incredibly fast. People we love can be here one day and gone forever the next.
It’s amazing how you change when something like this happens. All the pain, shock, sadness and utter loneliness you feel, no matter who you still have around. The pain doesn’t die out quickly, either. It’s the most persistent pain I’ve ever felt.
I keep waiting for it to go away, or at least subside, but as time goes on, it only seems to be getting worse. It’s such a mixture of different feelings and emotions that it’s almost impossible to explain. It’s not something I would wish on anyone.
My mother was my closest friend and the person I loved more than anyone else in the world, and I’m left now with only memories. If I could do back in time, I would, even if it were only to have one of those mother-daughter fights. You’d be surprised at the silly things you start to miss.
Mom did so many things for me that I never even noticed. Like punishing me and saying she was only doing it because she loved me. It never sinks in until so much later. Too much later. She touched an amazing number of lives with her strength and courage. She was one of the most beautiful spirits that ever touched upon this earth, and I can only hope to keep her spirit alive within myself for as long as I am here.
So the next time you’re sharing a sunset with someone you love, having a laugh with some friends, or even fighting with one of your parents, remember our lives are but a fleeting moment in time. They come and go so quickly. Live each day of your life to the fullest, as if it’s all going to end tomorrow. You have to live for what you have, live for now, grasp every second that you can.Appreciate and love everything there is. Cherish every breath you take, every smile you share, and every tear that falls. These are the moments that pass without a single thought.