My mom

I know I should consider myself lucky.
All my life my parents loved me. My mom was my best friend, untill she betrayed me in the worst possible way: she died at age 61.
It wasn't her fault, she got pancreatitis, a disease of which only 5% recovers.
She wasn't to blame.
I know that. In my mind. And in a ever growing part of my heart.
But I still haven't forgiven her totally.

I've been luckier than most, I called my mom every day, or she me. We went shopping together, discussed men together, had fun together.
And therefore I am at the same time a lot unluckier than most. Because it hurts. Every day.
And it's not the holidays or birthdays that are the worst. You can see those coming a mile away, and prepare yourself for it. It is driving your car on a sunny afternoon, and the song "Fame" starts playing on the radio. And you remember, you see it again, how your mom, your sister and you went to a concert by the Kids from Fame. How much fun you had, because people around you first thought she had come to keep an eye on the two of you, but seeing her reaction, they suddenly had to conclude she was the biggest fan.

To a lot of you, the word "betray" is the wrong word, you will look at it, and frown. To me, it is the right word, because that's the way I feel. That's the way most people feel when a loved one dies. You feel betrayed, because they shouldn't have died. How could they possibly die on you? That's not fair, you weren't ready for that yet, you weren't prepared. So you blame the only person you can: the one who died.
So did I. So do I.

Now, the memories I have are mostly happy, but sometimes I miss her so badly, I still cry. I cry for my loss, and the loss of my family, but also for hers.
Because there are so many things she missed, the birth of my sisters second son, my daddy's retirement, his 65th birthday, his flying lessons, the business my sister and her husband set up. And: her retirement, her 65th birthday, her 40th wedding anniversary, her former bosses' rise to local politics.
If the proverb "the good die young" ever applied to anyone: it's to her. She was one of the few truly good people on this earth. She and my daddy, who is (luckily) still alive.
They taught me never to go by prejudices. I don't see color, and that is because of them. They taught me to think for myself. I go my own way, and that is because of them.
They taught me to speak for myself. I piss people off, but make them think, and that is because of them.
They taught me to love people. I don't judge, and that is because of them.
I admire my parents more, than I admire anybody else, and THAT is because of them.

If you were as lucky as me, you are as unlucky as me, too.
Because no matter which age, they will die too young.
Remember them by living their lessons, as I try to.

© 2001 Bertine Centen-Nieuwenkamp