Cancer took my mother too soon. One can look at the disease and speculate why it took her when it did, but such reasoning brings no comfort. The essential unfairness of the situation still torments me. Though many years have passed since the day she died, I still can’t get over the feeling that something wildly unjust happened. She was robbed of her life, and I of my mother. Why? It’s a question I know better than to ask, but I can’t get it out of my head.
Mom was tiny in physique, but powerful in presence. Her siblings called her Plucky, because she was plucky. She was fully immersed in life. You always knew how she felt, because her emotions were out for everyone to see. Her love was a tangible presence; my memory overflows with moments I treasure. Her absence is a painful void. Without her to hold us together, our family has scattered. I don’t think we’ve all been together since the day of her funeral.
And now, as of today, I’ve lived the same number of days on this Earth as her. Tomorrow, for me, will be one day more than my mother lived. Each day after will be the same, another day more than her. I can’t express the depth of guilt this stirs up inside me. I have done nothing to merit a longer life than her. Yet when I wake tomorrow, it will be to one more sunrise than she ever saw. Why?
I know this question will never be answered. And in my heart, I know she wants me to live decades beyond today. So, I pray that I wake tomorrow and appreciate the day as a precious gift. And the same for each day of life I am granted beyond tomorrow. I will honor my mother by pledging to not waste those days, and to live them in a way that would make her proud.
I don’t deserve another day, so I’ll do my best to embrace it.