23 years ago today, my beautiful and elegant mother passed away after a long battle with leukemia. Nick and I were on a plane back from the Philippines, desperately trying to get to her before she went – we didn’t make it. There was a moment, about an hour outside of New York, when I looked out the plane window and saw the sun coming up. In that instant, I knew deep down that she was gone.
What I didn’t know then – and what I wouldn’t know for years – were all the things I wish I’d known to say to her while she was alive. It took becoming a parent, nurturing a long and good marriage, dealing with my daughter’s difficulties as a teenager, wrestling with my own spiritual growth and search for purpose – and, of course, by then it was too late.
It is a truth that you don’t feel any less orphaned just because you’re an adult when your parents pass. My parents are both gone now, and there are still days I feel bereft. Today is one of them. I miss you, Mom.