I almost forgot it was today.
Chalk it up to the day’s stresses, or trying to get by on another day with two hours of sleep, or on living in a place where this is just another day.
I almost forgot today was Mother’s Day.
I’ve forgotten so much about my life, I could fill countless photo albums with blank pages of memories that time, my mind, and the struggle through the two that robbed me of so much of my life.
I’ve forgotten so many holidays, save for the few running jokes in my family. I’ve forgotten what it was like to wake up in my old childhood bed.
I’ve forgotten what it was like to have a childhood home.
And I’ve forgotten so many things about her.
I’ve forgotten what it was like to be around her. I’ve forgotten the smell of her favorite shampoo. I’ve forgotten what it felt like to finally get tall enough that she had to look up to give me a hug.
I’ve forgotten the infectiousness of her laugh.
I’ve forgotten the kindness in her voice.
All I have left are the videos and pictures to remind me of the most important woman in my life.
I spent so many years after her death focusing on what I lost. Thinking about the last words I said to her. Remembering the moment I saw my mother for the last time. The image of going into to the hospital room to see her finally gone is forever burned into my mind. Mother’s Days, birthdays, death anniversaries, all spent remembering what I had lost.
But not this year.
I will not let myself be a slave to my grief, to my sadness.
She would never have wanted that. She lived life so fully, so in every moment, that she would never expect anything less from me.
I don’t think she would care that I don’t remember her recipe for chicken adobo; I think she would want me to remember how she would give her nights up so that she could help the outcasts and the unwanted in our city get the help they needed. She wouldn’t care if I can’t remember what she got me for sixteenth birthday; she would want me to remember the time I went to on of the roughest neighborhoods in Houston to give her something in the middle of the night, and remember how fearless and joyful she was helping others.
She would want me to remember how proud she was of me, and how much hope she had for me.
She would want me to remember how she told me that she would be happy with whatever I did in life, as long as I was happy (and not selling drugs).
She would want me to remember that she always counted on me when she needed help, because she believed I was someone that could be counted on.
She would want me to remember her not for anything she did for me, but that I gave her the greatest joy in life.
She would want me to remember that I need to live and keep on trying, just like she did when times were hard and we were alone.
So, I make this pledge:
I will remember you mom. I will remember you for more than the care and affection you gave me. I will remember you for more than the lessons you taught me. I will remember you for more than morals you instilled in me.
I will remember you because you loved me so unconditionally that I learned what it means to love someone, something, a cause, a belief, a way of life with every ounce of your body. I will remember you because you made me into the kind of person that can still write these words, that can still fight, that can still try despite everything telling him that he’s going to fail.
I may forget this day, but I will never forget you.
This day will end, but my love for you will span beyond the last of mine.
Always loving you mom.
Go out and hug your mom if you can y’all. If you’re too far, do what you can. If they’re with my mom, I have a hug waiting for you.
Sending love to you mom, and y’all out there around the world, straight from the Holy Land.