My mom passed away in 2004. She was almost 89 years old. At least once or twice a week, I start to pick up the phone to call her and then remember she’s not there any more. I keep forgetting because I want to forget, I guess.
Sometimes phone calls with her were monologues about her day and the little things in her life. Sometimes I never got a chance to get a word in edgewise. She would go on and on and on with a story until I got so impatient, I wanted to hang up on her or drop the phone in the toilet. She could be pretty irritating. Sometimes she was critical if she didn’t like something I did. Sometimes she was critical about other people and what they did. Sometimes she wanted more from me than I wanted to give her.
Her mother, my grandmother, had some severe emotional problems for which she was sometimes hospitalized. She had lived through some of the Pogroms in Russia in the early part of the 20th century. The Cossacks would ride on horseback through their little Shtetl (Jewish town) and club people to death for no reason. My grandmother watched several people in her family killed that way, right in front of her. She never recovered from that. She probably had very little to give to my mother in the way of emotional support.
In spite of her difficulties and our conflicts, I always knew my mother loved me and cared about me deeply, and I know she was proud of me. She was always good to me. Raising me was probably not that easy because I was such an emotional kid and I needed so much from her. Since she never got what she needed from her mother, it wasn’t always easy for her to give to me.
I wish I understood all that when I was growing up. I never loved anybody as much as I loved my mom. I’m glad I had a chance to tell her before she passed away. I want to call her and tell her that again, right now.