A mom is supposed to be there. She is there for the small bumps and bruises. She dries the tears and let's you know that it's safe now. She is there to teach about love and compassion, about the safety and security of always being there.
When she isn't there what happens? Dad does his best, but dads have their own things to teach. Nana tries to do her part as do aunts and uncles but there's no replacing a mom. Only poor unsuccessful attempts to fill the void.
When my mom died I was ten years old. I had yet to play a hockey game, score a goal, hit a home run, kiss a girl, fall in love. She's never seen me in my cap and gown at . In my dress blues graduating boot camp. In my desert cammies returning from Iraq deployments.
She couldn't comfort me when I was heartbroken over my first love. Couldn't console me when my best friend was killed in combat or another friend committed suicide. She wasn't there.
She wasn't there and I am worse for it. I will never be whole. I'll never learn the lessons she would have taught and never feel the love she would have given.
And I miss her every single moment of every single day.
What might have been.
Try not to think about what might have been
Cause that was then and we hav taken different roads
We can't go back again there's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been.
There are moments in my life that have forever and irrevocably altered the course my life was on. Some were monumental and shared by many. Some were so inconsequential at the time that it is almost hard to pinpoint them as catalysts for change.
The easily identified are unforgettable. Sights and sounds and smells are unforgettable. From the images of airplanes exploding into towers. The smells of diesel and hydro and flesh burning in the desert air. And the staccato rhythm of a .50 caliber machine gun.
The death of my mom from cancer when I was ten. The abandonment of my grandfather thereafter. My nana's death on the eve of college. My pop's death shortly after I returned from my first tour in Iraq. My best friend's death in combat. Other friends burned and broken and maimed. My brain rattled enough times to forever change me.
These are the easy ones. There is no question the impact was deep and permanent.