My mother, Esther, with her father, Frank Favia, in Bronx, New York. My mother passed away from terminal lung cancer twenty-five years ago, two months after her 55th birthday and the day after Mother’s Day.
She lived less than ten miles from my home but I rarely visited. More than once, she had asked why I never invited her over for dinner, as I recall, I simply shrugged my shoulders.
While I was growing up, to state it mildly, our relationship was turbulent. As an adult, I held many teenage resentments that prevented much of what I wish now I could say, wish I could do with and for her, like invite her over for dinner.
The pain of my mother’s passing has grown within me over the years. Last year, this intense grief surfaced because I surpassed her in age and realized how young she was when she died.
If only is the most futile thought and yet I have many if only’s in regard to my mother. I read it is important to forgive others for their transgressions, but I do not know how to forgive myself for not being there emotionally for her in those thirteen weeks she had left. I should have told her I loved her. I should have told her that I did not want her to die. My hope is that she knew how I felt even though, at the time, I didn’t.