The role of a mother is an interesting one.
If you are a salmon, you swim upstream, lay your eggs and die. You don’t see your youngsters begin their life. I assume they have no knowledge of the one who gave them life.
As sure as I wrote that last paragraph, I will probably hear about somebody who is a salmon whisperer and helps salmon deal with separation anxiety.
Charlotte, the spider who spun webs advertising the greatness of her pig friend, Wilbur, was heralded as somewhat of a miracle. She, too, died after spinning her egg sac at the fair. Although a handful of her offspring hung around the barn with Wilbur, Charlotte never knew them.
I’m glad I had a mother who raised me, taught me right from wrong, made sacrifices for me and loved me in a way no one else could. This December, it will be 20 years since she died.
I don’t care how old you are, when you lose your mama, it’s tough. Please take that as an incentive to call, visit or do something to tell your living mother you love her.
The desired arrangement is a mother gets to watch her child grow into adulthood and maybe see a few grandchildren or great-grandchildren before she completes this part of the course.
Sometimes, that isn’t the case. Some mothers give their lives to bring a child into the world. Some mothers lives come to an end before they see their children grow up.
But other times the course of events is unexplainably out of order. Those are the times when a child dies before the parent.
For people who have lost a spouse, we have terms such as widow or widower. For children who have lost a parent, we have the term orphan. I am told in all of the languages of the world, no term exists for a parent who has lost a child. It defies description.
My thoughts today are on the four mothers who lost a daughter in a horrible crash on a rural highway in Oconee County a few days ago. Their college year was almost over. Chances are they would be home to spend a little time with their mothers on their special day.
Just a year or two ago, these moms were getting ready for high school graduation. A little over a week ago, they had to plan a funeral. That’s not in the normal order of things. In one moment, they took a quantum leap past college graduation, falling in love, planning a wedding, having grandchildren and all the other events that are a part of your child reaching adulthood.
I hope no one told them horrible things such as “It was God’s will” or “I know exactly how you feel.”
No, it was not God’s will. We have the ability to make human decisions and sometimes the outcomes are what we don’t want or expect.
While all four lost daughters, their feelings are very different. People grieve in different ways. Today, I hope people who love them surround them.
Before your day is out, say a prayer for Kayla’s mom, Yvette Canedo; Brittany’s mom, Dawn Feldman; Halle’s mom, Valerie Scott; and Christina’s mom, Catherine Semeria.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.