“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
and we are lead to those who help us most to grow
If we let them ad we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…”
Stephen Schwartz, The Wicked Musical
One of my favorite musicals is Wicked. I have seen it six times. I saw it with my mom many years ago and just fell in love with the music and the friendships in the story. My mom and I especially loved the song, ‘For Good.’ I wrote the lyrics, with a bouquet of flowers, for her retirement from teaching. I also wrote the above lyrics on the printed card given at my mom’s funeral. Bittersweet.
One of the fondest memories I have, during the time when my mom was sick, is lying in bed with her just holding hands. She spoke to me about some serious topics, and I looked at her hand in mine. I REALLY looked at her hand as she spoke. The creases, the veins, the knuckles, the color… I wanted to remember every single thing about her hand in mine. My mom told me she loved me and I said I loved her too. Shaking her head no, she told me that she knew I did not understand just how deeply she loved me. She said one day she knew I would understand the depth of the love she had for me. Talk about crying. I tried to breathe through my tears.
My son was born four years after my mom passed away. The first moment I held him, I knew exactly what my mom had meant by those words. The love. The truest and deepest for this little person. I looked at my son’s hand. I really looked at it in mine, and I remembered my mom’s hand. I could feel her hand in ours. This was the love. The love that she felt for me. A mother’s love.
My love for our Wicked song had changed the day my mom passed away. It brings a wave of emotions over me even at the very first note. I used to put it on and then quickly turn it off. For a few years, I was mad… Mad that she was taken from me. Mad that she suffered. Mad that I do not have her to call about my children. Mad that she was gone. Just really mad.
Now I do listen to our song because it is OUR song. It is something that belongs to the two of us. I blast it! I make it real low! I sing it in the car. I write down the words. To be honest, it is not always easy and some moments I do get in a real funk. Sometimes the happiest and most exciting moments in my life can be the toughest days. Being pregnant, buying a house, feeling our babies’ first kisses, first days of school, birthdays… Those are the days that my heart aches to share the moment with her. Mom and daughter. Like it used to be. To hear her say she is proud or to watch her eyes well up with happiness with me.
But many days I feel grateful and thankful. The relationship that my mom and I had is one that cannot be described. I am thankful that I can hold that close to me for the rest of my life. I can feel her love inside me. I hold my sons’ hands extra tight to feel that love.
I can feel her handprint on my heart…
I miss you mom.