No matter how many times I’ve asked my father or my sister — I even consult the death certificate itself sometimes — the date as to when we lost mom, I just can’t seem to take a mental note of it. It just doesn’t stick and it’s annoying because sometimes people would ask about my mom and I would inevitably tell them she has passed and of course they’d inevitably ask, “Really? When?” If you ask me right now, I’m not even sure what year it was. Some people find it strange, abominable even. I know forgetting important dates like birthdays and wedding anniversaries is a cliche. I’m not one of those people. I know all of my significant others’ birthdays. Mom was born March 2nd 1954, dad February 25th 1957, sister September 18th 1982, son July 5th 2003, best friend April 15th 1981…the list can go on and on. For pete’s sake I can even recall my employment history off the top of my head! So it’s not that I’m not good with dates nor do I think it’s insignificant. It is in fact the most significant event in my life, a real turning point. I don’t care about when it happened. I just know she’s gone. Every single day, I am reminded of that. This morning I was binge listening to The Script and in their song If you could See Me Now, they verbalized thoughts that go through my head every time I make a life-impacting decision. Here goes some:
If you could see me now would you recognize me?
Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me?
Would you follow every line on my tear-stained face
Put your hand on a heart that was cold
As the day you were taken away?
I know it’s been a while but I can see you clear as day
Right now, I wish I could hear you say
I drink too much, and I smoke too much dutch
But if you can’t see me now that shit’s a must
You used to say I wont know a wind until it crossed me
Like I wont know real love ’til I’ve loved and I’ve lost it
So if you’ve lost a sister, someone’s lost a mom
And if you’ve lost a dad then someone’s lost a son
And they’re all missing out, yeah they’re all missing out
So if you get a second to look down on me now
Mom, I’m just missing you now
If my sister reads this I am sure to get some scolding because she wanted me to move on so bad and to ask for God’s guidance when it comes to life-decisions, not cling to someone who’s long gone. You know how thoughts work though. It’s not always conscious. It is preluded by unconscious brain processes so there’s not much you can do in pre-empting the formation of a thought. Enough said. So the next time someone asks me when she died I would simply say summer of 2011. How did I figure that out? I just came back from rummaging through my documents hoping to obtain that piece of information but I did not find a copy of her death certificate. Then I suddenly remembered it was before my son’s 8th birthday — I had a mental picture of the dedication on his birthday cake that says “Happy 8th birthday Vince Nero” — and my son is 11 now so it’s been three years. Brilliant!