When my mother died ten years ago, I stood up in front of family and friends in the chapel, tired from cross-country travel (LA to Boston to LA and right back to Boston) shell-shocked from events even though there was no surprise ending, and gave a very ME speech, one with some jokes and laughter, one that I think some people felt was flip and immature. Yes, I heard the remarks after. I’ve often thought about that day and that eulogy and whether or not they were right. If I could do it again, what would I say to my mom:
If I could do it again I’d tell you I was sorry..
sorry that you got so sick, sorry that life dealt you such an unfair hand, sorry that I couldn’t do more, sorry that sometimes bad things DO happen for no reason to good people, sorry that as a young guy out of college I was so selfish, knowing you were sick and still moving across the country, I was selfish. I’m sorry.
If I could do it again I’d tell you I was grateful..
grateful that we got the years we did with you, grateful that you took on your role as a single mom when dad died so unexpectedly, grateful you walked the steps of your illness with dignity and hope, grateful you guided US when it was YOU who needed the help, grateful that you got to see your first granddaughter. I’m grateful.
If I could do it again I’d tell you thank you..
thank you for the lullabies when I was a little kid, thank you for the independence and support you gave me, thank you for struggling to balance work and loans and family, thank you for the road you put me on, thank you for the sister I have, thank you for the love. The love. I thank you.
If I could do it again I’d tell you I miss you,
I miss the coffee trips we’d make together to Dunkin’, I miss the family gatherings we’d all have on Leo road, I miss the mashed potatoes and stuffing and chicken soup, I miss the daily phone calls, I miss the embarrassing humming to the AM radio, I miss the sound of your voice. I miss you.
If I could do it again I’d tell everyone to hug your mom, call your mom, appreciate your mom, listen to her words, her wisdom, her criticism. Value your mom. Savor her recipes. Remember her voice. Tell her thank you. A simple thank you.
My mom died on Mother’s Day 2006. There aren’t any do overs. Don’t leave things unsaid. I know that now. If I could do it over this is what I would tell her.