Dear Mom, I Miss You Like Crazy Pants

12 years. Twelve years ago today you died. Every year on the anniversary, I’ve wanted to write a blog post on the anniversary of your death but I haven’t. For one reason or a hundred, I just haven’t.

So this year as we approach the midnight hour and my body throws itself into a nostalgic state I thought I would just throw out a few memories, and recap some of the best things she taught me. I’m good at Top 10 lists (aren’t we all?) so lets go ahead and roll with that…

Mom Moment #10: Family dinners. Those were amazing, even though I never ate anything you ever cooked. I’m sorry about that. I realize now that Rice-a-Roni is *not* in fact a meal, but I thank you for cooking it almost every  night just so I would eat something. I’d give literally anything to sit down at that table with you and the family again…anything.

Mom Moment #9: Your hands. Your hands are one of the only things I can still remember in detail. Your face has blurred into images, along with so many other things, but your hands…I remember them so vividly. They saved days, and worked hard, and were wrinkled with years of memories. I get lost sometimes looking at hands of strangers, hoping to see some that resemble yours. I see mine start to look yours, and I welcome every vein, every wrinkle, every mark.

Mom Moment #8: Our family. You married a great man mom, and you did a great job raising my siblings. I say thank you daily  just thinking about how wonderful and unique and funny and supportive and real they all are. Thank you for building a family that rose above cancer…and quite beautifully I might add – we laugh and hug and smile all the time.

Mom Moment #7: The sun. I still remember that day you said you would miss the sun so much. You said the sun on your skin is something you have always loved. I live in Seattle now…so uhm…sorry about that. Not much sun here, but when it does come out, I remember that day on the porch, and I remember you saying that and its magical.

Mom Moment #6: Christmas. I told you I would always make it home, in fact I promised. So last year, for the first time, I missed Christmas. s.o.r.r.y. BUT I went to Texas, because I fell in love with the most amazing man (just like you promised I would) and uhmmm yeah… I realize love trumps most things (like you said it did), so I am hoping you give me a pass on that one.

Mom Moment #5: Work. You led teams of people. You ran meetings, you competed as a leader with men, and you did it all while staying on the good side of people. You loved your job and made so many friends and worked hard.  I’m so happy with my job, and love the people I work with, and work hard…just like you.

Mom Moment #4: Cancer. This year was one of the first years since you died that I am starting to remember you and not those last few months. So cancer… fuck you on that one. We win.

Mom Moment #3: Bloody marys. Literally for the first time ever I tried one this year. You and the aunts loved them…and guess what?! I love them too! Like mother, like daughter. For my thirtieth birthday this year I am gathering the women that matter most to me and we are sipping bloody marys to celebrate the passing of the decade and to just enjoy each other. I think you would approve.

Mom Moment #2: Love. HOLY CRAP MOM I STOPPED DATING LOSERS AND I AM IN LOVE. He is amazing, and smart, and loves his family, and loves me and wow. That is all.

Mom Moment #1: Today. Today is twelve years since the day I said goodbye in our living room, and I can’t help but think — we’ll jesus Mom…you were right–as always. We are all doing okay, and we were strong, and we are happy. But most importantly, just like you promised, you have literally been with me each day…every second I needed you.

Moms are always right. So tomorrow when I wake up around 6 am like I have always done since that day… I’ll think to myself — I miss you mom. I love you, this much, around, twice.

I hope you are wandering worlds and clouds and stars and things I can’t imagine. I hope its full of beautiful things. Like the sun, memories, love and bloody marys.

  • Cassie Allinger

    Wow. This put tears to my eyes. I can’t even fathom how much courage it took to post something like this here – nor how hard it must be to have lost your mom. My mother is the best I could ask for, and my best friend. This post was beautiful – I hope you manage to have a wonderful day, in honor of your mom. :)  

  • Chris Winfield

    One thing I can tell you, your Mom would be (is) proud of you Joanna.

  • Melissa Fach

    That is the most amazing thing I have ever read. We can see her love and your love so clearly. I am sorry for your loss, but so happy you had such a great mom that left you with memories of love and happiness. You are an amazing person.

  • David Cohen

    Absolutely beautiful. Makes me even more grateful to have both of my parents still with me, and in good health. Thank you, Joanna for sharing this with the world.

  • Lisa Barone

    Well, I’m crying. Good for you for writing this to your mother and letting the rest of us in.  And especially good on you on #2. I love watching the moments you’re creating with Peter and, srsly, OMG, WE STOPPED DATING LOSERS! GO US! :)

  • Kristi Davis

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Cancer sucks. 

  • Todd Mintz

    You definitely put yourself out there on this one :.)  Kudos to sharing your most intimate thoughts.

  • Kristy Bolsinger

    Thank you for sharing this with us lady. I’m crying over here. The love and relationship you have with your mother is incredibly moving. You are definitely honoring her in the best way possible – by living an amazing life that is nothing short of amazing. She is proud of you I can guarantee you that for sure. Also a great reminder that every moment we have with those we care about and love is building a life time worth of memories. Cherished memories. We should always treat them that way too. <3

  • Kate Morris

    You are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Bhawk988

    Thank you for having the courage to not only write these feelings down but to share them with us. Pulling at the heartstrings but so beautiful. 

  • Peter Nardell

    Well done Sister!  As always, you put so well into words what we all are thinking.  Thank you.

  • Beach254

    Thank you for sharing this Joanna.  You have put into writing alot of things that I remember.  I am sitting here saying cheers to your mom, my sister, with tears running down my cheeks.  She is sooooo proud of you.  She has been looking at all four of you and smiles. You have all made her proud.  I still remember the phone call that morning.  I got off the phone and went for a run. I did the same thing this morning.    Yes , cancer does suck.  But we have many , many happy memories overriding that.  I love you all and always have you in my thoughts. 

  • Joanna Lord

    Thank you so much Cassie. It was an amazing day and I had an amazingly low key evening with Peter where we sipped beer and just enjoyed our time together :)

  • Joanna Lord

    I also love watching you fall in love and I am so happy for you. Over the past few years you’ve always been there (on twitter and such) when I seemed to have lost my mind, so thanks for being here for this :) Sometimes you just gotta throw it all out there for the world to read…I’m pretty sure I learned that from you along the way. So thank you for that. :)

  • Joanna Lord

    Thanks lady! Your family has been through so many battles with cancer, and its been inspirational to watch you hold onto your strength. Seriously. Love you lots.

  • Joanna Lord

    Thank you Chris. That means the world to me. :)

  • Joanna Lord

    Thank you Aunt Cheryl for everything over the years. Mom loved you so much, so freaking much. I think she had a lot planned for you and I when she made you my Godmother :) I am so glad she did. Love you, and thinking of you today!

  • Joanna Lord

    BROTHER! Seeing you write here makes me cry! I hope you enjoyed today, I wish we could have been back at the bar together like a few weeks ago or on the boat together. Strangely enough last night I was remember that day you came in and woke me up to tell me to come out to the living room and it hit me — that must have been so hard for you. I’m not sure I could ever thank you enough for how strong and amazing you were those last few months, and the last 12 years. Love you bro, thank goodness for you.

  • Jen Lopez

    Just beautiful, Joanna. You are an amazing woman and your mom could only be super proud of you. I love the way you talk about her and the love you have for her and for your family. Thank you for sharing this, I know this can’t be something easy to write. *hugs*

  • Stephanie Sumner

    Wonderful writing, Joanna.  Your mom would be so proud of you, and of all of your siblings.  She was such a wonderful lady and I learned so much from her.

  • Dominiccook

    My morning cup of coffee on this beautiful saturday was perfectly interupted by an amazing list of memories that not only you will remember but all of your family. Your kind words,writing skills and of course a much needed F-bomb, have proven to all that have read your mother did a hell of a job! Miss ya cuz, well done!!

  • Patricia Skinner

    Joanna, you made me cry. My mother died about 12 years ago too. I still feel like calling her all the time. 

  • kate matsudaira

    I just read this – and my heart goes out to you babe!  You are amazing – seriously!  I can’t imagine anyone being more proud of what a smart, beautiful and caring woman you are.  Your post brought tears to my eyes.  Keep loving – the world, your family, Peter, your friends – we are all lucky to have you in it!

  • Lindsay_Henry

    Well, I’m behind by three weeks on your blog. This one made me cry. Your mom sounds likes pretty amazing person. She would be so proud of you, Joanna. Hugs!

  • Mariafigueroa