She left us on the first day of spring. So fitting for her to depart then. When I think of all the elements collectively that make that season I can’t help but think those are the very same from which she was made. My mother was our Spring. She was hope. She was a new beginning each day. There was so much life present within her at all times. She was our light. Every year becomes yet another and though most people feel that time flies when their loved ones have left this Earth, I almost feel like I can count every single day in the 1,460 she has been gone.
I suppose if she hadn’t been the most amazing mother I wouldn’t be mourning her loss still these years later. There is so much to be thankful for having called her my mom. My heart is uplifted when I recall her kindness and remember all that she embodied in that life she so fully lived. I aspire each day to become more like her. My prayers are one of Thanksgiving for the blessing she was to all that knew and loved her. I can truly say she lived a life of Faith, one in which she put God at the center and everything else in her life fell in place. Her faith astounded me at times. Through out my entire life she constantly reminded me to have Faith in God especially when I worried about various things. The answer from her was always, have Faith. She would even ask me, “Have you no faith?”
Just a few weeks ago the Homily in Church centered around a Mother’s love. Our priest noted with such wiseness why in the Old Testament, Isaiah 49:14-15 the love a mother feels for their children was written in the verse because it is a timeless and universal message: Mothers do not give up on their children. It is a message we can all understand. There is nothing like the unconditional love that comes from a mother. Mothers love us in spite of all our imperfections, just as God loves us all. He went on to share a story of one such mother in Ireland so dedicated to her son that when he found himself alone and in jail she still visited him each week bringing him things he needed or wanted. She never faltered. Always there. His message spoke to me and I recalled how even in my mother’s very last days here on Earth her love for us amazed me. She was so concerned that we all knew Christ before she left this world and believed in Him in our heart, so that her souls (meaning her children) would join her again one day in Heaven. On her very last day, her parting words to my father were to tell us all not to be sad for her. She did not want us to mourn her but rather be happy and to live our life that very first day of Spring. At her request, we celebrated her life with a huge party thrown in her honor. My family and I were beyond moved by the amount of people that came to her Celebration of Life party in her honor. I clearly remember our Priest pausing a moment after entering the party to look around and ask me, “Tell me again how your mother knew all of these people?”
Why had all these people showed up in her honor? Even in Hospice her room in the facility was always filled with so many that came to see her regularly and to hold her hand. They came to tell her how much they loved her one last time. They brought her treats and cried tears but left with smiles because she made them feel good. After seeing all of those people touched by her in their life, so many things became apparent. Lois Minucci was not a fancy lady. She didn’t even wear lipstick or drive a fancy car. Her clothes weren’t always the prettiest but her soul was gorgeous. She didn’t hold a college degree. We literally had to turn people away from her party. Why? Because Lois Minucci strived daily to be like Christ. She gave to the poor. She had kind words to say about everyone. She did not lie. She did not boast. She was not proud. She loved God with all of her heart and held her faith in Him there. She was selfless. If she was scared to die I never knew it because she was always consoling me in my grief over losing her. She was always calming my fears for her parting and assuring me life would go on fine without her. “Have Faith,” she said. She was a friend to all that knew her. A real friend. My best friend.
Though life has gone on fine without her, I find it so hard to live without her at times. As a parent I want so badly to reach for a phone to call her and ask her wise opinion but instead I find myself calling and texting close friends. The answer usually lies inside of me since she was able to impart so much of her good and wise opinions to me through out my life, yet it is always refreshing to hear that feeling supported by a friend. Such wonderful friends I have in my life and I have my mother to thank for those friends. She raised me well and taught me kindness and so I sought those same qualities in others around me. Yet another reason to be thankful for the mother God blessed me with.
The softness of her cheek.
Holding her hand when she needed me most.
Her chocolate cake.
How she would hold a plate of dinner for me when I worked late and she would never let me eat alone.
Her overflowing flower boxes.
Her unconditional love.
Today I will plant a flower and remember what she told me one of the last few times we spoke on the phone. I was planting Spring flowers four years ago, at the end of Winter when the phone rang and she called to chat. The conversation always turned to me crying and asking her how I will ever get along in this life without her.
She said, “I will be everywhere. Just look around and I will be there.”
At the time I just didn’t understand how that was going to be possible. Today, I notice her in so many things. The ferns she told me not to plant from her own yard because they would take over mine, well they greet me at my front door and I laugh each time I see them because I didn’t listen to her that time, thankfully. Each time I place a Petunia in the ground or an Impatient I am reminded of her overflowing flower boxes full of such lovelies. Various holiday decorations we scouted out together or she passed on to me all remind me of her. I see her in my oldest son’s eyes, every single day. I hear her in my parenting when I sound just like her. I find her in a story when I run into an old friend, those are my favorite because I get to laugh and remember her fondly. Wise beyond her years, a blessing to us all, it is now easy to find her everywhere. I miss you mom and will all my life.