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She’s Gone but Not Forgotten

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By Joe Novak

  My mother entered into eternal rest on April, 2nd 1978 a few days before my 31st birthday and I have missed her immensely! We often don’t realize what we have until it is gone; my mother and I got closer only a few months before she passed; if I had only known how soon she would be gone!

I started visiting her once a week after she moved into an elderly apartment and we would also talk on the phone approximately once a week. She died on a Saturday night after attending a Slovenian event where she spent her time catching up with old friends. She and I spoke on the phone that Friday evening for a considerable amount of time; neither one of us knowing it would be our last conversation!
I distinctly remember her telling me that she was ready to depart this world with all her ailments and missing my dad who passed away several years earlier; hearing this was some consolation but it didn’t ease the pain of her passing. 

Another topic we discussed that Friday was about my decision to divorce my wife; she knew how unhappy I was in that marriage and although it went completely against her Catholic upbringing she gave me the go ahead. This was not permission or encouragement but advice to follow my heart. Catholic guilt is legendary and her reluctant go ahead lessened that burden for me! When I was growing up, there were few divorces so we were accustomed to having both our parents around; seldom did I think about losing them until my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. My parents were truly in love and you could tell by the way they looked at each other! I believe that having known true love, even if it is for a short time, beats a long life without ever having known true love! 

My mother was a great cook and the memory of Sunday dinners still remains after 60 years! She suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis and I would often help her in the kitchen never thinking that later in life I would be the cook in my family; wishing I had paid closer attention!

Copyright © Joe Novak  4/28/2020

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