Mom has been gone twenty years. A lost battle with leukemia. I like this picture of her in California, young and so full of life. Some days it still seems like my phone will ring, and she’ll be on the other end of it. I miss Mom’s voice the most. It made me smile when I called and she would answer the phone with her usual cheery “Yello.” She always substituted a Y for the H in hello. If the color yellow was more than a pigment, a perception of light, and a word, it would be her saying “Yello” with the very essence of brightness that the color yellow contains.
My husband and I watched some videos recently of our sons’ first birthdays. Hearing Mom’s voice in the section of my older son’s party made me smile with happiness. She laughed and talked as if she were here right now.
It’s been said that when the people you love pass on, you carry a part of them in your heart. I suppose that’s true. The memories I have with her have faded a little, but when I try hard, I can still see movie-like takes of us together.
Folks say that I look like Mom and am a lot like her. I do, and I am. It makes me glad that a resemblance of her lives on in me. I’ve seen women cringe when they say they’re becoming like their mother. I think it’s the best compliment anyone could give me—to say I’m like Mom.
I firmly believe that I’ll see my mother again, and that the day the coffin lid closed over her won’t be the last time that I see her fabulous smile. Mom had a movie star grin: perfectly arched, full lips around just the right flash of straight teeth. I’ll see that grin again someday when it’s my time to pass on. I’m sure it will seem at that moment like no time has passed at all, and I will once more hear her say, “Yello.”