It’s going to be a different sort of Mother’s Day for me this year. For the first time in 60 years, my Mom won’t be around to celebrate it.
Many of you already know that last week, after 90 years on the planet, most of them good ones, my mother, Louise Colburn, peacefully said goodbye and moved on to the next great unknown adventure.
If anyone thinks that would make Mother’s Day less joyful, guess again. It’s going to be one of the best in my ever more shaky memory.
We won’t be making a drive to one of her favorite national chain restaurants; that little tradition went away when she moved to Atlanta to be close to my sister Carol five years ago. I won’t be scurrying at the last minute to my computer to send flowers. The practice of hand-scrawling cards with crayons mostly disappeared in my childhood, although it was resurrected once somewhere along the line.
Thanks to family and friends, both mine and hers, there’s been more “I remember when Terrie” stories this past week than I could have imagined. Many of those are of those legendary Halloween celebrations of hers, when people would come back by the dozens to her house after trick-or-treating to eat her extensive spread of goodies and revel in each other’s company. Others spark fond memories; still others have been revelations, most of them centered around her quick and sometimes snappy wit.
I’ve often marveled at the fact that of all the families I could have ended up with as an adoptee, I managed to hit the jackpot with Mom and Dad. I’ve had all the advantages in life I could have asked for, including always knowing that I was loved, even through my occasional screw-ups.
On a recent trip to Atlanta to see her, I made sure nothing was left unsaid. I knew the message would get through, even if she couldn’t tell me so. When I left, planting a soft kiss on her forehead as she slept, I knew it would probably be the last time I would see her in this lifetime. We made the most of it, the two of us. Zero regrets.
So, Sunday will be a joyful day, remembering and giving thanks for having the best mom I ever could have asked for. If she ever thought she could’ve done better for a son, she tactfully kept it to herself.
For those of you whose mothers are still around, do something a little extra special this year, even if it’s just saying “I love you” a couple more times than normal. Most moms try their very best; if they could do better, they would. And if you feel that you are an example of their very best, then feel lucky indeed, for you, like I, have a great mom.
— david colburn
Last modified May 9, 2018