Copyright © 2012 by Ralph Couey
It was a rainy day, one to leave the motorcycle in the garage. Feeling bored and restless, I decided to tackle my junk drawer. With a sense of adventure, I slid the drawer out and carried it over to the bed, where I had thoughtfully placed a junky towel to protect the frilly-quilty bedspread. I dumped the contents and went to work.
I dug through the flotsam, keeping some items, discarding others. But near the bottom of the pile, I found a folded piece of notepaper. Opening it, I felt my heart skip.
It was a letter from my mother.
Mom contracted cancer in the early '70's. But after a very extensive surgery, it seemed she would survive. Six years later, however, the cancer started again, spreading rapidly. She underwent chemo and radiation, but it was too late and on a sad September day in 1982, she passed away.
Between the two illnesses, we were gifted with 6 more years with her. Doesn't seem like much, but during that time she saw both her children get married, and was able to cuddle her grandchildren.
I was in the
Persian Gulf when I got
the news. What followed was an epic 48-hour journey back home to , arriving just
in time for the funeral. It was a hectic
few days, and before I was able to fully comprehend the event, I was on my way
back to my ship. I had been back aboard
about an hour when one of my shipmates brought me my accumulation of mail. In
that pile of magazines, newspapers, and letters, was that note. Missouri
When you lose your mother, a light goes out inside. She was the one who loved us without question or condition. That care and devotion cannot be replaced. As author Erica Jong wrote, “Motherhood cannot finally be delegated. When a child needs a mother to talk to, nobody else but a mother will do.” When you lose her, nothing is ever the same.