After sipping on my morning pick-me-up, I got back in my car and drove on 27th, the street behind Safeway, right past Staneks Florists. I looked up and saw a sign, the kind where you put the letters up on a long stick. The sign read "Get your Valentine flowers here."
I always check those messages on the reader boards. The teacher in me looks for spelling and grammatical errors. As I saw the sign at Staneks I thought to myself... Well, they need to change that sign. It's past Valentines Day. Maybe, I thought to myself, they should have it read..."when was the last time you sent flowers to your mother?"
The thought was floating through my mind, when all of a sudden it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks, almost as if someone had sucker punched me in the stomach....It's February 19th, my Mom's birthday. It hit me so hard that I had to pull the car over to the side of the road, and I just couldn't stop crying. I wished I could send my Mom flowers. How many years had it been since she passed away?
I finally pulled myself together and started the ride to school. All the way there I composed a letter in my head to my Mom. It went something like this...
I miss you! Happy Birthday! I didn't forget.
If I'd only known how much I would miss you, I would have been even more appreciative of every moment I had with you.
If I'd only known how much I'd miss the sound of your voice on the phone, I would have called you more often.
If I'd only known how much your advice and wise counsel would mean today, I would have listened more to what you had to say then.
If I'd only known how much I would love to have you here to spend a day with, I would have taken even more time with you to have lunch or just talk.
If I'd only known what it was like when you were gone, I would never let any small irritation about you get to me. At times I felt irritated at you, for the most stupid things.
If I'd only known what it was like to miss you, I'd have told you over and over and over and over again how much you mean to me.
If I'd only known how it hurts every day to have you gone, I would have taken more care so that you never felt I took you for granted.
If I'd only known that there are no perfect Moms, I certainly am not one, I would have seen that you were about as perfect as any Mom could ever be. You loved me deeply then, and I can still feel that love in my heart now.
If I'd only known that many of the things I was so "busy" with really weren't life-shattering events, I would have seen how much my paying more attention to you would have meant the world to you.
If I'd only known...
I miss you Mom. I miss you every day. I will miss you until I take my last breath on this planet.
I am largely who I am because you were there for me in the most important years of my life. You came to everything I did when I was little. You had my back. You loved me just as I was. You carpooled me everywhere. You knew my teacher's names. You believed in me, so I began to believe in myself. You listened to the tiny details that no one else really wanted to hear. You were a gift from God to me.
I love you Mom!
Love Punk...your very own daughter!