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In Memory

June 30, 2016 - Stacey Sacco
It’s been a month since I’ve talked to my mom. She died at the end of May (I wasn’t sure I could type those words). After only 59 years, she is no longer here. And the world is a different, less hospitable place.

We were sure she was getting better. She has been healthy until recently. She was young. She would be OK. But that’s not what happened. Instead those who love her are left with a giant hole in our lives. No more comforting words. No more giant hugs. No more phone conversations because I haven’t talked in her in a day or two. Or have no idea how to deal with one of the kids.

It’s been a whole month since we’ve talked. How is it possible that at one point I will say it’s been a year? Four years? A decade? Day by day, we keep moving away from the time that she was part of each and every event.

How do we go on without her? The truth is, we can, we just don’t want to. She was wonderful at that heartbreaking truth that parents raise kids in order for them to leave. She taught us to be independent. We are better with her, but she taught us how to survive on our own too. She taught us to trust ourselves. To make decisions based on what we know to be right.

She’s the woman who holds the secrets of my own past. She remembers what I looked like at six months and two years and on my first day of Kindergarten. And while other family members remember, a mother is the only one who holds in her heart the little every day moments of her children’s lives. She is the one who would know if one of my girls talks just the way I did or one of my boys made the same spelling mistakes that I always did. And even if she didn’t talk about it, she is the one who has my first image impressed in her memory along with all those other times in which she stared at her child wondering at the perfection of children and life.

If someone told me I was becoming my mother, it would be the greatest compliment. She never had nasty or critical comments for anyone, regardless of how difficult they were to get along with. She saw the good in everyone. Especially her kids. She constantly told us that she loved us and was proud of us and thought we had become wonderful adults and parents ourselves.

Most importantly, she lived and taught love. With a tear in her eye, she would scold us for fighting with our siblings. As an only child, she told us we were the luckiest kids to have three built-in friends. We didn’t believe her until we were older and realized we are best friends.

She taught us to love other people and to love God. She had the patience and the calm of a saint. Instead of being the stressed out, yelling mom of four that I typically am, she was the peaceful, understanding mom of four that everyone wanted to be around. She was truly interested in what other people had to say and what was happening in their lives. She would constantly ask about high school friends’ kids or a college friend’s job. If I shared with her that someone I knew was going through a hard time, she would consistently pray for that person, even if she had never met them. And she would remember to ask how things were going. She cried for sick babies she didn’t know and rejoiced in marriages and births for those whose names she had heard.

One of the cruelest things about this, is the one person who I would talk to about how I’m feeling and how I’m coping (or not), is the only person I can no longer talk to. She was the keeper of our deepest thoughts. She had perspective and the right words to make me see the big picture. And when words wouldn’t make a difference, she had the best hugs always available.

Her beautiful legacy is large. Four children and nine grandchildren to cherish her and continue to love the way she did. Lots of co-workers and friends and acquaintances whose lives she changed. But we are still missing so much. Nothing is a consolation for the fact that she is not here with us. I will forever miss the presence of my mother.


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