"Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother" said writer Jane Welsh Carlyle. But I'm not sure I agree.
Labor Day marks five years since we lost my mom, and I still think about her all the time. There are memories that can be triggered by a TV commercial, a smell or food, and I start to cry. I don't even realize I'm crying until I feel the tears streaming down my cheeks. I know my sister feels the same. So does dad.
I always thought of Labor Day as the end of summer, or the start of school. I'd look forward to watching the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and trying to stay up late one more night before I had to go back to my regular bedtime schedule because "school starts tomorrow."
Now, I think about mom. How my sister, dad and I were all in her hospice room as she took her final breath. Holding her hand, telling her she was going to be OK. We told her she didn't need to hang on for all of us, and how we'd be fine. Then, with several final gasps, she was gone.
I don't know if you believe in God, but when mom took that final breath, I literally saw her spirit leave her body. One moment mom was with us, the next moment there was just a lifeless form- nothing. It's a moment I will never forget, because it was the first time I had been in a room with someone who died in front of me. I still don't know how to explain the feeling I had during those few brief seconds, but I know thinking about it still makes me emotional.
I'll be working this Labor Day weekend. When I come home, I'll spend the afternoon with my wife and kids. Mom and dad always wanted me to marry Erin. I'm glad dad was here to see it happen, and I think mom was looking down at us during the ceremony.
Then, sometime during the day, I'll play a song in her memory. It was one we played in her hospice room during her final days, and minutes. We all used to dance to it when we were kids. I hope you'll click on the video below and listen, and maybe remember your own mom....or dad...who aren't with you in the traditional sense this Labor Day holiday, but hopefully are with you in spirit.