My mom died 18 years ago today, at age 52, six weeks after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The world has changed so much since then. It was before smartphones, texting, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, 9/11.
She never met my husband or my kids.
She never knew that I’d become a professional writer, although she was one of my earliest supporters and encouragers in my writing, starting in third grade.
Because she was usually the photographer, there are not many photographs of her.
Because she was usually the one holding the movie camera, there are not many home videos of her.
Because she always declined to speak into the microphone when my dad recorded cassette tapes of my sister and I when we were young, I can barely remember her voice.
Yet despite the scarcity of photos, videos or recordings of her, something else still remains. An imprint that’s difficult to explain.
On one hand, it’s the natural order of things. A new generation arrives as an older generation departs. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. The connections we make while together on this earth tie us together and it’s painful when they are torn apart.
And while it may be beyond our understanding of why certain things happen when they do, perhaps there is some great explanation that will someday become apparent.
We can keep those we love in our heart and pay tribute to them, by remembering them and by doing good deeds in their merit to keep their spirit alive.
Meanwhile, all around us, the world goes on.