MaryAnn Vander Wall
On Tuesday night, my mom passed away in her sleep at the age of 64. I have the impossible task of trying to fit all my mom was into this statement. There is no way to touch on who my mom was in just one statement, but here is to trying. This was something no one expected or could have prevented by all accounts. I talked to her Tuesday after work and she sounded happy, normal, herself. There have been times where I was mentally aware she may not recover from different health problems, but this was not one of those times. Having to envision my entire life without my mom is beyond painful. It is too early for her to not be here with me, which is ironic because my mother was notoriously late. Had my mother had her choice, she would have not left this early.
First and foremost, my mother was my best friend and without her, I feel incredibly lost. My mother was a Girl Scout mom, class mom, field trip chaperone, mother figure to so many, and high school musical mom. She was a wife and sister. She read so many books and loved all the years she was a part of a book club. She cooked every day except for Fridays. My mother did everything with intentionality. There is not a holiday she didn’t decorate for. All of her outfits were planned out nose to toes - and often times she laid multiple outfits out (jewelry and all) and would have me come upstairs and help her pick out which one was the best for the day. It didn’t matter if she was just cleaning the house, my mother always had earrings on. She loved her cup of tea. When she passed, she had a cup of tea next to her in a mug I gave her not too long ago that says "Cat Mom". My mother always told me a hot shower, clean pajamas, and a cup of tea could fix everything. This is the one thing that cannot be fixed with her remedy.
My mom and I would stay up far too late when I was a teenager watching trashy tv shows - shows on TLC and Bravo. She was such a wealth of knowledge. She was a history buff, knew how to cook anything imaginable, planted the perfect gardens in springtime, and just knew what to say whenever I needed advice. She was for me what her mother was for her. I always knew how much my mom missed her mother from our conversations, and unfortunately, I now all too intimately feel how she felt. My mom and I would fight like crazy and love each other like crazy. We shared so many things and had so many things in common. We’re both stubborn. We are cat fanatics. She loved our dogs so much and on a bad day would call to see what trouble they were in for a good laugh. We both love to cook. We both love to walk around a mall and browse. We both love the ocean, all things tropical, and to lay in the sun. The very last thing my mom and I will ever share is the age we lost a parent. My mother lost her father at 27 and I have now lost my mother at the close of 28. I cannot express how badly I wish we did not have this in common.
My mother was her mother’s daughter just as I am my mother’s daughter.
Thank God for that.
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