Since Mother's Day is celebrated in the US this Sunday, I thought I'd share the last day I celebrated my mother.
Rose-Marie would have turned 72 years old this year if she had lived. Her birthday actually was on Good Friday, April 13th and when she was 12 years old, her own mother forgot it. Quite heavy to grow up with, not knowing one’s worth like that. Nonetheless, we all celebrated our birthdays in the next generation. And when she turned 50, thanks to my younger brother Peter’s initiative, we gave her a trip back to Eugene, OR to visit where she had been an exchange student and fallen in love with her drama teacher, before she became a teacher herself in English, Swedish and German for High school students, and for those with learning disabilities before she became an executive for immigration adult classes.
It was also Easter when I silently realized that my mother was soon going to die. Usually this time of year in the south of Sweden, we all go for a ride in the countryside to visit local art galleries and their exhibitions, new for the season, and stop for a coffee someplace. So also that last year in 2004. Indeed we shared our last “fika” after I had helped getting her dressed and making sure she had her extra asthma spray with her, watching her doze off in the car all the time and just knowing that Rose-Marie had fought enough against her cancer.
On Easter Monday we went to a place by a lake that is very special to me. It is a place once shown by a friend to an ex-boyfriend, where I have returned many times on my own to recharge my batteries with Qigong and meditation. It is as if this small beach is completely private and unknown to others outside the small community who lives there. This time, I wanted my mother to see it again, to have a view of beautiful nature with her but she was too tired to get out of the car. She remained waiting while I stepped down the little pathway to sit on my own for a while, crying of course. It was then I knew I would move on and she wouldn’t. She had just turned 58 and passed away, not without agony, pain and grief, two months later.
Previously published on Facebook a month ago. Photo by Helsingborgs Dagblad from 2004 at Lernia.