Mom had style. (Submitted)

Liam’s Lowdown: To the mom I never had

She died from ovarian cancer in her mid 40s soon after I was born

Eventually, our parents die. They might not mean to, but they do. Sometimes it’s sooner than expected.

My mother died from cancer when I was eight months old. When diagnosed, the doctors gave her six months to live and unlike a Disney movie, she fulfilled that expectation perfectly. I always thought it was ironic that my star sign is Cancer. I wasn’t breastfed as mom was too sick, her life slowly ebbing.

The Harrap family pre-Liam. (Submitted)

I didn’t even know what a ‘mother’ was until I went to school. All the other kids had this woman handing them lunch bags and giving them hugs and kisses at the start of the day. Weird.

I remember when I asked dad about what happened to mom. He was kneading bread at the time, his hands and arms wrapped in sticky dough. He suddenly stopped. A look of dread washed over his face as if the question had come sooner then he wished. Of course, I already knew the answer. She was dead.

While my mom didn’t brandish a sword or lead armies to battle, she had a similarity with Caesar. They both died on the same day.

My dad raised me the best he could. He was the best father I could have asked for. While he had no money, he gave me something far more valuable. His time.

The only thing I have from my mom is a card, “To my darling little boy from his mommy.” If my house caught fire and I could only take a handful of things, that would be one of them.

What I know of my mom is from faint echoes left behind, like spaghetti spilled on white carpet. The noodles are gone but the marinara stains remain.

My sister said our mom was ahead of her time. She had real eclectic Bohemian style and wore fuchsia lipstick. Her drinks of choice were coffee and red wine. Mom had always wanted to go to Hawaii. Her favourite movie was Grease and while she loved to sing, she was terrible. Absolutely tone-deaf.

Mom and me. My sister said mom didn’t want me to see her dying as babies shouldn’t be around death. So, I didn’t spend much time with her for the last three months of her life. This photo was taken in the final grips of cancer. (Submitted)

Apparently mom was also very good at making kimchi.

My sister said she has used mom as a guideline for life. Mom told her to avoid people who create drama and the importance of cherishing and maintaining close friends. My sister was 15 when mom died.

Mom apparently always gave good advice. When she first met her best friend, mom told her to “stick with me — I know every bathroom in this town.”

She knew it was always important to be prepared for the worst. For example, mom kept candy and treats in her sewing machine. Just in case.

In many ways, mom lived a simple life. She wasn’t a doctor, lawyer or general. She didn’t find the cure for polio, discover the Northwest Passage or step foot on the moon.

She lived. She loved. She gave life. And there’s something inspiring about that.

If your mom is still alive, give her a hug and tell her all the things you’ve meant to but haven’t. Because eventually, she will die. She might not mean to, but she will.

Sometimes it’s sooner than expected.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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My sister said our mom was ahead of her time. She had a real eclectic bohemian style and wore fuchsia lipstick. (Submitted)

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