The Last Words

The memory of that day will always be indelible.  The time following it remain charred and broken. When we said good-bye, we had no idea that it would be our last.

It happened so long ago. The day began with such tension.  The reasons for the arguments were nothing but normal things between mother and daughter. They were silly reasons for harsh words and the silent treatment.  We spent the entire day avoiding and ignoring one another.

Then, just like that, at the end of the day, we reconciled. I felt a strange urge to tell her that I loved her. I said it with such intensity.  She replied the same, in the sincere, motherly, loving tone that I cannot forget.   Those were the last words we had said to one another.  Some time later, she was gone.

The last words by thismommyisreal.com

In the time following, I found myself playing the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” game. I could have been a better daughter. I should have apologized earlier.  Maybe I would have had more time with her.  It was a tortuous process, and I often found myself stuck in it.  There was always something missing.  Growing up without her was not easy. I found myself feeling lost because I didn’t have what my friends did with their mothers.   I didn’t have the same support system that their mothers gave to them. I didn’t have a female figure to confide in during those teen years.

As time passed, the wounds healed somewhat, and in some way, became callused.  Now and then, I would feel the pain, but I had learned to accept what was.  For so many years, I could tell people my story without breaking down. It was just a part of my life.

When I became a mother, the pain and the intensity returned.  I could never share this experience with her.  I could not ask her about her pregnancies. I would never hear any of her lessons or advice.  She would never hold my son or tell him of my childhood. He would never know her in any other way than a photo or  random stories.

So much time has passed, and my time with her was short.  There are only so many short stories you can tell. Our last story will always be difficult to tell.  It cannot be erased, and I can never forget it.  The only solace I have are the last words we said.

23 thoughts on “The Last Words

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss – I don’t have a very close relationship with my mother. She’s incredibly toxic. There’s nothing I’d love more than to share her grandchildren with her, but she’s too busy being ‘too old to be a grandma’. This brought a tear to my eye. 😦

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  2. I’m sorry you lost your mom at such a young age. You made an interesting connection about how becoming a parent gives you a new perspective on what your parents did for you. In some way, I wonder if our parents will live on in us and in our parenting once they’ve passed.

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  3. I can relate to your story, I still have my mom, but I lost my dad three years ago. So I can totally get where you are coming from, I am so glad that you were able to have some time with you mom. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  4. I think it is a normal part of life, a necessary part of life, to have regrets. It is how we grow as individuals. While you cannot change your past, you can always learn from it and make the most of it.

    Your time with your mother may have been cut short, and you both could have done things differently I am sure – but ultimately, this is your chance to make every day, every moment with your loved ones matter. To make up with a long lost friend. To tell someone you love them, more often. To do small acts of kindness for others, for no reason other than you want to. To do something for yourself, because you deserve it.

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  5. Losing a parent is tremendously difficult! Your mom would not want you to play the shoulda, woulda, coulda game. It never has any winners. She would want you to hold on to the “I love yous” you shared. We all say things we regret from time to time and as a mother you know we never hold on to those things. The I love yous are what matter!

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  6. Wow! I can’t imagine. I have friends who have similar experiences and while I can listen, it’s hard to know what to say, how to comfort. I am a mom of adult children now. If something happened to me suddenly, I would want them to be secure in knowing I love them, that I am proud of them and that an argument or disagreement could never erase that. We’re all different, but I think most moms share similar feelings. I’m sorry you can’t share life with her. It sounds like you are building one she would be very proud of.

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    • Thank you Lori. I think you’re right. No matter what, as a mother, you want your children to know how loved they are. I like to think I’m leading a good life and that I’m making her proud. I very much appreciate your sentiment 💙

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  7. I am sorry for your loss and as they say with time, the pain can become less intense. The last words you had shared, matter and erase all the pain and forgive all the unspoken and said words.

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  8. For such an intensely difficult topic to write about you did a wonderful job. I’m sorry for your loss. Regret and guilt when dealing with the death of someone is extremely difficult. There’s nothing that can be said to make you feel better. I just hope somewhere in your heart you know that “intense ‘I love you’” you shared with her is what you should hold onto.

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