I thought the biggest event in 2004 for me would would be my wedding May
30. It was overshadowed by my mother’s funeral, April 27. She died in a
car accident April 23.
I think about her a lot. Saying to myself
“I miss my mommy.” I miss her hugs. I miss how she was interested in
everything I was doing. I miss how her eyes would light up when we’d do
I think that is what makes me sad the most of all.
The fun things we had planned to do together. The things I wanted to do
for her. I had big ideas for a 40th wedding anniversary celebration.
You hear about how parents want to make their children happy. Children
want to make their parents happy and see their eyes sparkle too.
a four-year-old standing on the dining room table a smile of total joy
filling its face as chubby little hands reach up to pull down the
chandelier, which can be raised and lowered similar to the way a window
shade is raised and lowered. What percentage of mothers would reach for
their camera to take a picture rather than grab the pre-schooler off
the table and scold them for doing such a dangerous thing as climbing
up on top of a table? Perhaps my mom was adept at putting herself in
the shoes of a four-year-old. If it were not for this ability of hers
to understand the event from the pre-schooler’s perspective, the
situation could have escalated into a crying fit and a picture of tears
and resentment instead of a fond memory.
I received the news of
my Mom’s death while at work. I had arrived at work that Friday morning
at eight o’clock as usual. As was our custom at Lithotech we gathered
for worship and then concluded with a production meeting. I remember
feeling blessed by the worship and content by the day’s duties. It
wasn’t long after we concluded that I received a phone call on my cell
phone from my brother. “Mom and Dad were in a car accident.” Ben said.
“Dad is okay,”he paused. Mom’s dead.”
No, I thought. No, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. I just talked to her yesterday–yesterday.
said more things, about going to the hospital to pick up my dad, about
being in shock, and the policeman who had woken him up with the news
that morning. He wondered if I were still at home. “No, I said, I’m at
work.” We hung up and I went to find my boss. They were still in a
group talking about the day’s jobs. “I have some bad news,” I said. “My
parents were in a car accident, and my mother died.”
shocked. They were concerned. They asked questions. I answered and then
walked back to my desk. My brother Joel called. I told him how I just
talked to Mom right before they had left on their trip, ironically
their trip was to a funeral. My throat was tight. My voice was soft and
wavering. My forehead in a permanent crinkle. I called my fiance who
was in an airport on his way back home. I called my future
mother-in-law who also works on campus. I hung up the phone, and cried.
I sat there with my head cradled in my hands on my desk sobbing–my
co-worker Cesar walked into the office and laid a hand on my shoulder.
His simple touch of comfort meant a lot me. Not only because of that
simple gesture, but because I had worked with him for years now, and I
knew the genuiness of it. I knew the care and concern went deep into
I didn’t read all the sympathy cards, emails, and
notes people sent right away. Not from any aversion, but when the time
arrived that I could I was deeply touched by the personal stories many
shared with me. Having the support of a campus family was very
“I wanted to wait–perhaps until the numbness had
started to wear off–to let you know that I’ve been thinking of you
during this time which may understandably be one of shocked horror,”
one card said. It continued “There is no way of saying that time will
heal, because it probably won’t. But I hope that the prayers of many
are some comfort to you.”
They were, and I thank you.