When I lost my beautiful mother to stage-four lung cancer, I was just 24 years old. She was 48. Although my mother and I had always been very close, there was much left unanswered. Questions I wanted to ask but didn’t because I never want to admit to myself that the end was coming soon. It wasn’t until after she was gone that I — who used to talk to her several times a day, see her often, and thought that no mother and daughter had a better bond — realized how much I was missing.
1. What kind of wedding would she imagine for me?
Since the most important person will not be physically there to witness me someday getting married, I look back now and wish I had talked to my mom more about ideas for when the day finally does come. I would love to know her opinion on wedding songs, father-daughter dance, color themes, places, photography ideas, etc.
2. Did she have kids’ names she liked?
One thing I know my mom always wanted was to one day be a grandmother. Unfortunately she won’t be a grandma here on earth, but one thing I will make sure of, when the time comes, is that my kids will know all about her — the kind of person she was and how much she loved them even though she never met them. I wish I had asked her what names she likes, if she thought I would have a boy or a girl first, and more — simple stuff like that, but things I wish I could ask her now.
3. How did she put up with all my crap over the years?
I was no angel growing up. I was a little (actually a lot) hard to handle. From sneaking out and drinking at age 14 to skipping class constantly, I look back and realize how much torture I put my parents through. Karma is going to bite me in the ass when I do have children and I wish more than anything, when that day comes, that my mom would be here to give me advice on handling a wild child like myself.
4. What was her homemade spaghetti and meatballs recipe?
Sunday dinner was rarely ever missed at my house. My mom would make sure that Sunday would be the one-day we are all together for dinner. She would start cooking her homemade sauce and her perfect meatballs early every Sunday morning and, man, do I miss that meal.
5. Did she still have her wedding dress?
I would love to see it and try it on. Although she was a little shorter than I am she was about the same size as me when she got married 29 years ago.
6. What was the craziest thing she ever did?
My mom, like me, was a wild child also. She was the fun mom, the “cool” mom. She knew how to party and she didn’t put up with anybody’s shit. I would love to know the craziest thing she ever did.
7. What kind of man did she think I would end up with?
My mom had always loved my boyfriends. She would immediately make them part of the family. I knew she loved the guy I was dating when she was sick, but I knew she knew he wasn’t the one. I’ve dated guys after I left him and the first thought on my mind is “what would mom think of him?”
8. Was she scared to die?
I know she didn’t want to leave her loved ones behind, but she was in so much pain towards the end. She had always put on a brave face and I rarely saw her shed a tear, but I want to know if she scared? Did she believe that she would be able to watch over us? Did she know I was there every second on her final days? Did she know I tried everything I could to save her life?
Now, if your mother is still alive, is a good time to start asking questions that you would want to know the answers to. You never know when it will be too late.