Carolina Moon

Sunday, May 13, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. A holiday I've pretty much avoided for the past three years, since my own mother passed away. On Mother's Day I don't go to church, I don't check Facebook, and I avoid TV and radio like the plague. But tonight there are memories of her dancing in my head, and I can't get to sleep. So this post is for her.

My mom, Carolyn, was named after the old song Carolina Moon. We had a Connie Francis album with that song on it (the one in the picture), and I remember the tune quite well. Carolina Moon, keep shining, shining on the one who waits for me. To this day, I still love that song.

Mom was everything I feel I'm not. Warm and nurturing, a great cook, extremely emotional, glass half full, and the heart of a servant. An extravertish lady, she had the uncanny knack of making everyone she came in contact with feel welcome, and she always put others before herself. We didn't always get along while I was growing up, but she never gave up on me. I used to joke that she was the 'wind beneath my wings' - which would make her cry instantly, of course.

The last several years I've lived about 6 hours from my hometown, and Mom compensated for that with daily e-mails and bi-weekly telephone calls (one of the few reasons I actually appreciate technology). If she didn't hear from me every few days, she would call me non-stop. Same with my brother. We were her 'little ducks' she said, and she always wanted to make sure we were in a row :-)

Several months before she died, I dreamed about her death. It was the first time in my life I ever woke up sobbing. Unable to stop, I cried for what seemed like forever. I think I did most of my grieving for her that night. When I did get that terrible middle-of-the-night call that she'd suffered an aneurysm and was in the hospital, unlikely to survive, I was overcome with a horrifying sense of deja vu.

After the funeral, I was fragile for months. My mother's death was the first real loss in my life, as most of my relatives (aside from grandparents) are still alive. The worst part was when something funny would happen, and I'd pick up the phone to call and tell her - only to realize I couldn't talk to her anymore. Desperate to connect with her in some way, I began to ask God to send an angel to give her the message that I loved and missed her. Not sure that's allowed, but I asked anyway.

I had a lot of plans for my Mom. Someday we'd travel together, someday I'd live closer. She knew I was writing a book and was my constant encourager and cheerleader - I had plans to try and publish it, she was planning on telling everyone she knew about it. I was planning on seeing that proud look in her eyes when I finally handed her a copy.

The plans are different now. No traveling, no book endorsing :-) But someday I'll live closer. When I get to heaven, I'm pretty sure she'll be first in line to greet me. And in my book, the main character's mother is named Caroline. Just for her. The wind beneath my wings.

I love you, Mom - you're always in my heart and on my mind. So keep shining - someday that wait will be over, and we'll be together again in God's grace. Amen.

Happy Mother's Day, folks - from the bottom of my heart :-)