Every Minute

Mom, here we are: our first Mother’s Day apart. I don’t like this one bit.

I am still in denial mode, I suppose. I can’t believe that I won’t see you, hear you, hug you anymore. I look at pictures of you, smiling so brightly back at me, and it’s as if we just haven’t caught up in a while. I simply need to call, right? You’ll answer the phone with your joyful, “Hello, my darling!” And all will be right in my world.

Of course, this isn’t true. I have your phone sitting here right beside me. It will not ring again. No more talks. No more text messages. No more rambling voicemails and handwritten notes. Just memories of all the fun we had together—our road-trip conversations, our junk-store adventures. Taking long walks, making sausage, exploring Merry London, dancing the Electric Slide, baking kolache, wandering through the fabric store, sitting on your swing by the goldfish pond, drinking wine and chatting about nothing and everything.

I just can’t believe that you’re gone from here. I know where you are, and I know where I am, and I hate that it’s not the same place. I’m mad and frustrated and heartbroken and all the things you would not want me to be for one instant. But there you have it.

I keep thinking that I need to “get back to normal,” but I don’t even know what that looks like now. My “normal” involves you! I keep thinking of stuff I need to tell you or questions I need to ask. I look around my house and see things you bought for me or books we talked about or DIY projects where your advice saved the day. You were and are and always will be woven into the fabric of my life.

I don’t like speaking of you in the past tense. You are my mother. You are my friend. We’re just separated for a period of time by some distance we cannot cross. I wish I knew how far away you really are. Do you see me now? Can you read this? I won’t know until we meet again, at which point I probably won’t care. I’ll just be so happy to be near you.

You said to me a hundred times over the last two years, “Don’t waste your time here in this [chemo lab], [hospital room], [doctor’s office], [etc.].” You didn’t want your illness to disrupt my life or anyone else’s for that matter. But I tell you the truth, I wouldn’t take back one minute of the time I spent with you—not the fun times or the waiting times or the worrying times. It was all precious time, and I’d give anything for another minute. 

I promise that I will pull myself together and live my life and take care of myself and my family, just as you would want. But I also promise that I will never get over you. I won’t move on, but I will move forward. I will settle into this new reality and continue to cherish our special bond forever and always.

Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom on earth and in Heaven. I wish you joy and peace beyond measure. I cannot wait to see you again.


I am long on staying. I am slow to leave,
Especially when it comes to you my friend.
You have taught me to slow down, 
And to prop up my feet.
It's the fine art of being who I am.

And I can't figure out why you want me around.
I'm not the smartest person I have ever met.
But somehow that doesn't matter,
No it never really mattered to you at all.

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome.
At the risk of self-discovery,
I'll take every moment,
And every minute that you give me.

And I can think of a time when families all lived together,
Four generations in one house.
And the table was filled with good food,
And friends and neighbors.
That's not how we like it now.

'Cause if you sit at home you're a loser,
Couldn't you find anything better to do?
Well, no, I couldn't think of one thing
I would rather waste my time on than
Sitting here with you.

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome.
At the risk of self-discovery,
I'll take every moment,
And every minute that you give me.

— “Every Minute” by Sara Groves