Remembering the mother I lost too soon

When I was just shy of 5 years old, my mother volunteered for an intensive nutrition study. She packed her bags for Oregon, where the study would hopefully allow her a better understanding of her own body, in exchange for a few weeks away from her family. She never returned, and would eventually lose her life after a series of tragic missteps sent her into an irretrievable coma. More than 30 years later, I still think of her, and wonder what my life would have been like if I had been able to keep her for little longer. I became a father myself a few years ago, which throws you into a new unfamiliar world, one where you grasp for life experiences to guide you through the bewildering world of parenthood. Perhaps this why I have found myself trying hard to remember my time spent with my mother, attempting to retrieve memories that I long ago lost to the thief of childhood amnesia. I was never neglected in the youthful years that followed, as my father and many others stepped in to provide the love and support I needed, filling the gap of my mother’s absence. Still, as I play with my boy, cozy up with him on the couch, and put him down to his naps, I wonder about all the experiences I had with my mother that I no longer can recall. It makes me sad to think that if I was taken from this world suddenly, my son would not remember much his father either. Despite this, one thing becomes clear, every experience builds upon the next, even if we eventually do not remember fully how we arrived at this place in our life. I know that her love must of given me the confidence to take my steps into this world. Her embrace must be burned into the essence of who I am right now, and perhaps I have secretly been given a few tips that I have used to help me with the challenges of raising a young boy of my own. As I watch my wife, a wonderful mother herself, heap love, kindness, and patience upon our child, I know this has to be true. A mother’s love is eternal, even if the world has other plans.