My Mother's Day May 14, 2014

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My Mother's Day
My Mom Is Dying

I had a loud, gut wrenching cry yesterday. Like I was a newborn-baby cry.

I am writing this on the day before Mother's Day and mine is dying. Ann stopped eating and drinking or even opening her eyes a few days ago. She's in New Jersey. I'm in Chicago. The distance physically is a little symbolic of the distance we had from time to time when we were in the same room.

While there was always love between us, mom and I have dealt with our fair share of conflict. That's only natural when a strong woman wants to raise equally strong children. At times, mom has been my agitator. And really, communication hasn't always run smoothly between us.

I'm reminded of the time when my son, an infant of only a few months, was lying on her living room couch as we got him ready for his Baptism in Brooklyn. My mom turned him over on his tummy. JT made sounds like he was frustrated. He was kicking his feet from his underbelly position and "ehh" "ehh"-ing. He didn't like the new position and I didn't like how it was making him feel.

"Mom, what are you doing?" I asked her like she was off her rocker. Mom laughed.

"You've got to challenge him," she said. I paid no attention and put JT back where he was comfortable. Mom laughed again and left the room.

At the time, I thought she was crazy. Imagine making my "world's most beautiful baby" uncomfortable. Today, I appreciate what she was trying to teach him and me. Life isn't always easy and when things go topsy-turvy on you, you've got to feel your way back to feeling good.

Back to death and crying. When I think about why I am bawling, it's because of missed opportunity. A missed opportunity to ask a question and get more detail on her perspective, a missed opportunity to exchange a hug, a smile and even a phone call.

But this is what I want to say and this is what I'd like you to remember. After I bawled and bawled and got some of my grief out, there was still something that remained. And that is love. And love communicates.

Since the big breakdown cry, I've been talking to my mother. Physically, she lay dying in New Jersey. But in Chicago, we are having a meaningful dialogue in my heart and in my mind. As I get my hair and nails done, and as I pick my wardrobe for what's ahead, we talk a lot about beauty and caring for yourself. She's my new inspiration for staying healthy. I am enjoying this connection. I'm listening and being in joy with her.

Mom's soul is part of God and Mother Mary, just like yours and mine are. Now that she's passing, more of the Spirit of who she is - is available.

Mom touched a lot of lives. I can only imagine what she is doing for all the others she loves. For me, she's helping with another new-born -- my relationship with a newly minted spiritual ambassador in heaven.