Even before my mom and dad were in their accident on April 4th, 2009 around 7:30pm CDT, I had already decided to dedicate LIVE SENT: you are a letter to my mom. Why? Two very simple reasons.
1 _ because Mom always encouraged me to write and would even say those silly mom things like, “If John Grisham could get a book published, so could you!” Maybe it was a bit unrealistic at times, but her unshakable confidence in her two boys and her constant encouragement were pillars of my growin-up years.
2 _ because Mom was a letter of love. To my dad. To my brother and me. To her friends. To the people she served at work as an admin assistant for over 45 years. To our neighbors. To the people in the New Orleans community. She loved. She gave. She put the interests of others above her own. She modeled LIVE SENT.
Two years ago tonight, during an after-dinner walk together in New Orleans, while supposedly safely walking across the street in a cross-walk, a lone vehicle traveling only 25 mph did not see them there and struck them as pedestrians. Dad suffered numerous fractures. Mom suffered two injuries – a broken wrist and a blow to the head.
Dad miraculously walks today. He loves and leads and gives and serves and teaches as he always has for as long as I have known him. Tonight, he is actually going out on a date with my four-year old little girl, Abby. She is pretty much a remake of Mom with blonde hair. It’s uncanny how she has her glances and mannerisms and no-nonsenseness and humor.
Mom fought hard. She emerged from a three-week coma to tell us she loved us. She fought hard for another 3 and a 1/2 months, still encouraging the nurses who struggled to even help her sit upright. It was too much for her body to take. She died August 3rd, 2009 as I stood beside her hospital bed at the Ochsner Kenner campus to the west of New Orleans proper.
I am so grateful for Mom. I am so indebted for how she lived sent to us. Or maybe I’m not, for letters of love don’t keep score and don’t expect a return.
I love you, Mom. And I miss you.