Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Small Things

At about 10 years old something happened that made me really angry.  I had the nickname of short fuse, and little things could make me yell and scream, but this time it was no little thing.  I don't remember what it was that made me angry, but I remember the end of the day well.  My Mom sat by my bed, running her hand through my hair, and smiled.  I think at first the smile made me more angry, but that didn't last long; Mom had a disarming smile which had a way of melting away my anger.  Mom then explained to me how silly and wasteful my anger was.  She explained how anger causes us to use many more muscles in our faces, and it takes much more energy to use those muscles.  A smile is much more natural and takes so much less energy that it just doesn't make sense to do anything but smile whenever possible.  I've never asked a teacher, googled, or tried to verify this explanation because it makes too much sense to be wrong.  Since that day I have kept this in mind and tried at all costs to smile as much as possible, it just makes sense not to waste energy being angry.

Two years ago today my Mom died.  This was not the most tragic thing to happen that day, and between now and then there have been many more devastating things that have happened that have impacted many others more severely than the loss of one persons mother.  But this was closer to me than those other tragic events, it was more real.  I saw her take her last breath, and slowly let it out, and not take another.  I saw the pain leave, the fight end, and I cried.

Today I've remembered many things that happened with my Mom which I did not really think were that important at the time, but now I understand that these things, these moments, were significant events in my life.  For two years I have not had any new moments with my Mom, no conversations, hugs, laughs or smiles.  But I do have those moments that helped shape me and that live on in me every day.

I miss you Mom, and I appreciate now more than ever all the things you did for me.

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