My mother raised my sister and I all by herself.  She took on the roll of provider for over fifteen years.  During that time she sacrificed everything for us, including true love.  My sister and I both moved out and moved on to college and then careers of our own.  So, like so many things in life, when she was least expecting it mom finally feel in love.  Her beau was an unlikely character.  He was almost the polar opposite of mom, but somehow they worked perfectly.  Seven years ago they married, and every time I saw mom she glowed like I’d never remembered.  Then tragedy struck….

In Fall of 2007 my stepfather was injured in a motorcycle accident.  I was one of the first phone calls my mother made.  You could just tell her heart was broken.  For more than a week I drove hundreds of miles round trip to be there with mom.  After a week he finally passed.  Like any person who has gone through a loss, she was scared, confused, and genuinely empty from head to toe.  All my sister and I could think was how unfair it was that the woman who was so deserving of all the love she found was left alone.

The day of the funeral arrived.  Friends and family from the country came together.  Afterwards a small group of family came together at the house on the lake.  It was late fall and the water was icy cold.  I jumped into the lake anyway.  You’d have to know my mom to understand how shocked I was when I heard her running down the dock behind me.  Still dressed in her finest church clothes, she did a cannonball into the lake.  I’ll never forget how she floated on her back in that freezing cold water and screamed, “Lord, I can feel my soul.”

In the months that have passed, mom has slowly healed from losing the love of her life.  She will never forget the happiness he brought into her life; how quickly he came into her life and how quickly he left.  As I pondered on the “everything happens for a reason” topic, I can’t help but imagine that the educational program my mom is now developing on the importance of wearing a motorcycle helmets is encouraged by the love she shared.

First Published on: March 12, 2008

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