In Memory of My Mother – I am Going to Plant a Tree
By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor
My mother suddenly passed away four years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of her and miss her dearly. Losing my mother, even though I was in my 40's, felt like I was being abandoned. I felt a sense of loss that was so paralyzing. I was left unable to take care of myself or make a single decision on my own. I could not fathom that she was actually gone. I would often pick up the phone on Sunday to call her, since that was our standing phone date after my father passed away, and then suddenly remember that she was no longer there. It took me a long time to mourn her. But, over time, with the support of a loving husband and family, I came back.
She had always been such a huge part of my life and now that she was gone, I realized that I had assumed that she would always be here for me. This woman that carried me for nine months, embraced me with her hugs, applauded my triumphs and was there for me when I failed. Even now, I sometimes wonder what she would say or think about certain things. I still tell my husband, after reading a great novel, that my mom would have enjoyed reading it also. I doubt if that will ever change.
My mother once told me that she did the best that she could do in raising my sister and me. She knew she made mistakes and would have done some things differently if she could have a do-over (don't we all?). And, I know that, at times, I did not make it easy for her. When I became a mother myself, I was able to see a whole other side of her. We were no longer just mother and daughter but both of us moms sharing stories about our children. I treasure that my mother got to know all my children, although I am sadly aware that my two youngest will not remember her. I try to keep her memory alive by sharing stories about my own childhood and the woman who raised me.
So, in honor of my mother and to continue to keep her memory alive I am going to have a tree planted in her name. TreeGivers.comoffers a service that will plant a tree in any state or province of my choice. My mother lived in Ontario, Canada, so I will request a tree planted there on a piece of crown land that has been earmarked for reforestation. Although I will not know exactly where the tree will be I will take comfort that she will be creating a home for the local wildlife. I know she would have liked that. If you are interested in giving a lasting gift, that is also good for the environment, go to TreeGivers.com and remember those you have loved and those you still do.