I didn’t miss Mother’s Day last week but I did miss my Ma. She died six hours after I called her to tell her I was coming to visit her. And although that was September 23, 2010, my heart is still aching. It had been almost a year since my cancer treatments and I was finally well enough to travel to Ontario to see her. I hadn’t told her or my brothers and sisters that I had cancer because my Ma had a bad heart and the news would have killed her. And I couldn’t trust my siblings to keep a secret. Besides, I was only given a forty percent chance of surviving.
But a very selfish part of me wanted the familiar hug she used to give me when I was hurt or hurting. Her hug was also accompanied by words of encouragement. I wish I didn’t live so far away from my hometown because I would visit her grave every week. So many regrets.
But a few years ago, my cousin sent me some photos that included one of Ma that I had never seen before. I’ve only seen pictures of my mom when she was married to my dad. In fact, it was their wedding photo – hanging on their bedroom wall – and they both were so young.
I sent a PDF copy of Ma’s picture to my buddy Court Brooker. I’ve known Court for thirty years and I remember meeting his mom at his fiftieth birthday in Winnipeg many years ago (Court is a year older than me). Court converted the file for me and removed all of the scratches and spots. When he sent it back to me, I was thrilled.
Here’s my Ma – when she was a single gal.
Moms are like children. You always believe that your mom is the most beautiful and loving mom on the planet.
A few months after my cancer treatments had ended in 2010, I found a poem about Mothers online. I wrote a letter to my Ma and told her that although I didn’t write the poem myself, it captured how I felt about her. I remember her calling me when she got my letter in the mail and she told me that it had made her cry (tears of joy).
So, although my dear mom is no longer here – maybe, you are fortunate enough to still have yours. If so, why not send her a handwritten note with the poem.
When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking ~ Author unknown
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I wanted to paint another.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I saw you feed a stray cat and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I knew that little things are special things.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I heard you say a prayer and I believed that there was a God to talk to.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I felt you kiss me goodnight and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt but it’s alright to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking… And I wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.
Dedicated to my Ma and yours,
Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):
Stand By Me – lyrics
“This song says, no matter who you are,
No matter where you go in your life
At some point, you’re going to need
Somebody to stand by you.”
Oh yeah! Oh, my darlin’ Stand by me!
No matter who you are, no matter where you go in life
You gonna need somebody, to stand by you.
No matter how much money you got, or the friends you got,
You gonna need somebody, to stand by you
When the night has come, and the land is dark,
And that moon is the only light we’ll see.
No, I won’t be afraid, no I-I-I won’t shed one tear
Just as long as you people come and stand by me.
Darlin’, darlin’ stand by me, Oh stand by me Oh stand
Stand, stand by me C’ mon stand by me stand by me
When the sky that we look upon
Well, should tumble and fall
And the mountains, they should crumble into the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
So darling, darling stand by me, oh stand by me,
Please stand, stand by me, stand by me.
And darling, darling stand by me, oh stand by me,
Please stand, stand by me, stand by me.
Oooh baby, baby
So darlin’ darlin’ stand la la nomie
Oh stand la la nomie, Oh stand, Oh stand, stand
Stand by me c’ mon stand by me, stand by me.
Stand la la nomie, oh won’t you stand, la la nomie,
Oh stand la la nomie, stand by me, c’ mon stand by me.
When the night has come, and the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
I won’t be afraid, la la nomie, I won’t be afraid
Not as long, not as long as you stand by me.
Songwriters: Ben King / Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Stand by Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Raleigh Music Publishing