Today is the 76th anniversary of my mother’s birth. Even though she passed away over a year and a half ago, I commemorate her birthday and remember her. It’s a particularly emotional day for me, leaving me feeling verklempt. Actually, I feel a bit verklempt any time I think about her, which is often.
There always seemed to be a special bond between us. There were the obvious physical characteristics but I also inherited many of her mannerisms and some of her temperament.
I take after her in so many ways that it sometimes scares me. There’s the vision in the left eye. I don’t know if it was for the same reasons but it was a common affliction for us. I got my first gray hairs and the same age and in same location as she did. Even now, the physical resemblances are uncanny. When she was diagnosed with diabetes, I wasn’t surprised since it can be hereditary and her father was diabetic, but it caused me concern. And when it progressed to Type 1 and she began to develop complications and undergo all the surgeries and everything else that she went through, it scared me. The uppermost thought in my mind became, “That may very well be me in 20 years.”
Around the same time that she was on her deathbed, that I learned that my doctor had diagnosed me as pre-diabetic. Her passing was a wake up call and my diagnosis was an opportunity to turn my health around and prevent myself from having to endure her Hell or at least forestall it. Deep inside, I feel that much of her suffering might have been prevented years before. I can’t know that for sure and I’m not going to point any blame. Just the same, if I can be proactive and learn from her experience, just maybe I can change my future. Who’s to say that it won’t be me 20 years from now? If so, it won’t take me without a fight and I can only hope that I have half of her strength and tenacity.
I remember you on this day, Mom, and everyday. I know your spirit lives on and somehow watches over me and all of your children. I love you and miss you very much.