My intention was to keep this blog strictly related to cycling only, but on Christmas Eve, we got a phone call from a friend that changed his life forever. One of our good friends from "home" called to tell us that his Mom was killed the night before in a car crash. Just like that. Broadsided by a mustang while she was making a left turn. No time to say good bye, no time to get affairs in order. And while losing a parent is unbearable at anytime, having no time to prepare or accept the idea of it beforehand has got to be the worst. When my husband told me the news, I broke down because she was one of those Moms who just everybody loves like their own. The quintessential Italian woman who makes everyone feel like you are one of her own children from the moment she meets you. She was loved by everyone who met her and she will be sorely missed.
In the past two years, I have lost my own mother and not a day goes by that I don't ache for her loss. We were very close. With my own Mom though, I had time to prepare. She was sick for some time so when she passed, we were there with her and it was not a surprise. Still terribly heart breaking, but not unexpected with the way it happened nor the timing. She was an extremely strong woman who battled and beat so much, but at some point a body just can't take anymore and has to quit.
At this time of year, the feeling of missing her is indescribable. Her loss is even more palatable during the holidays even though I know I was lucky to have had as much time with her as I did. Each time I do something significant or something cool, or even something silly that I normally would share with her, I am jolted with that reminder that I can't tell her about it. Not anymore. I can't pick up the phone to chat about my day. I can't ask her advice or opinion on issues which often times were opposite of mine, but occasionally were exactly the same. In fact, when my husband tells me my ideas are wrong or logically flawed, I remind him that my Mom always said that's how it was, so it must be true. Then he'll shake his head with that "knowing" look. I am not sure what that knowing look means, but he'll usually mutter something like "that explains it....". I think that's code for "you were right the whole time dear, my bad"....At least, I think that's what it means.
I still use the strength that she instilled in me to get through a lot of stuff that I could easily feel overwhelmed by and for that I am thankful. I know that for every tough situation I get into or even any difficult race I do, she will be there with me in spirit helping me go on when I want to quit too early. She'll be making the experience that much better because I know that she wouldn't expect anything less from me. And I know she will be with me when I do that race in Georgia because while there will be many times when I am sure I will want to quit and throw my bike off the mountain, my Momma didn't raise no wussy. Well, maybe a little bit wussy, but she didn't raise no quitter.
So Mom, Merry Christmas to you. And take a look at the pic of the new bike I just got in the post below. It's cool isn't it? Yeah, I knew you'd like it....after all, it's blue. :-)