Some Things I Forgot to Ask Mom

It's that time of year when we have carefully packed away the decorations, cleaned up our homes, and returned to our busy lives after celebrating various holidays with family and friends, near and far.

Once again, it is time to get ready for another New Year!

It's also that time of year when we reflect upon and assess the close of yet another year.  We tie up loose ends and make plans for the coming months and the year ahead.  We also count our blessings.

Once again, like clockwork, that irrepressible urge of wishing for one more "two-way" conversation with my mother arrives.  But mom can't have those conversations any more - or provide any wanted, or even unwanted, advice.  Those conversations stopped abruptly when she passed away several years ago.

When I was a child, we enjoyed holiday music together, singing aloud with abandon.  We enjoyed the holiday specials on TV and watched the performance of The Nutcracker Ballet year after year.  We loved the Christmas holiday- the bright strings of lights on our neighbor's bushes and trees; the caroling; the sounds of children's laughter and singing.  We loved sitting near the church organist as he performed enthusiastically with the volume of the organ cranked up, our favorite hymns and familiar holiday carols. It didn't matter if we didn't know all the words. Everyone sang along.

I forgot to ask her what it might "feel" like on Christmas morning when her grandchildren no longer leapt out of bed searching for traces of Santa and his reindeer.  In the passing years, those grandchildren have grown into young adults.

During the holiday season, as well as during the celebrations of the coming New Year, there tends to be a flood of memories of those persons who have departed which bubble up to the surface.  Even the media assembles and broadcasts a long list of "celebrities" who passed away during the past year. I forgot to ask her how hard it would be to say "goodbye" to dear friends who, together with the celebrities, had joined her as "guardian angels".

I forgot to ask mom many things.  Yet, somehow the answers arrive unannounced after spending quiet time reflecting upon another year that has gone by. The message rings clear. Future holidays will continue to be filled with the joyful sounds of singing and laughter - echoing the voices of those departed loved ones that continue to speak, and sing, inside our heads and our hearts.