May 28th is a tough day for me. My mother, after a long battle with cancer, died on this day in 1999. She never got to see the new millenium, and today is the 10 year anniversary of her passing.
Three years ago, when I was riding across the prairies I had my worst day cycling of the whole trip. Maybe this had something to do with it or maybe I was just tired, I don’t know. But in the cold and rain I had to stop cycling because I could no longer feel my feet. That was the only day I cried during the whole trip.
Today as I sit in my office, it is cold, wet and grey again and I can’t help but think of that day cycling and think of the hole in my life that she left.
Her passing caused a lot of things to happen. Most of them I will not write about because it would do no one any good to read it. But not all of the things were bad. For example, when Zuimei’s mom calls and he tells me he has to go, I get it. I envy it.
And I would not, for all the tea in China, make him feel bad for loving his mom so much. That is one of the things I find so wonderful about him.
Another positive thing is she is the reason I came out. She was the first person to know I was gay. I am sure some people suspected but she was the first one I told. She she first got sick and was about to go in for surgery she told me, “Life is a lot more interesting if you can go through it with someone.”
I laughed and replied, “That’s very diplomatic of you.” She asked what I meant. “You basically just told me it is okay if I’m gay.”
She replied, “It is.”
One year I called my sisters to see how they were doing on this day and the first one said, “Good, I couldn’t stop thinking of mom.” and when I talked to the other she said, “Terrible, I couldn’t stop thinking of mom.” And in both cases I knew what they meant.
So while her passing hurts me dearly and I see her picture everyday I will try to focus on the positive things she has done for me, the good things she has taught me, and be thankful that I had the sort of mother that evokes this sense of loss.