Jewish World Review March 31, 2006/ 2 Nissan, 5766

Greg Crosby

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Gone With the Wind |

I didn't spend enough time with her. Why didn't I ask her more about our family history when I had the chance and she was able to remember more? Why didn't I take her out more, when she still enjoyed going out? Why didn't I hug and kiss her more? Could I have done more for her? I never thought so while she was alive, but now I think maybe I could have. Yes, I'm sure I could have done more for her throughout the years.

I loved her and she knew it, but during my young and middle adult years I was so busy with my own life that I too often put her on the back burner. She'll always be there, I must have felt. I forgot to call today, but that's no problem because I can always call her tomorrow. No more tomorrows now. We never know for sure that there will be a tomorrow for any of us. Why didn't I see that then?

There's nothing unique about what I'm feeling now. I know that. Most people will go through this loss in their lives and feel just as broken up as I do. But somehow it is little consolation to me. I can sympathize and empathize with others who have lost their mother and father, but the pain of losing your own is something that no one can really share totally with you - not to the same degree.

My father died in 1973 and I miss him and think of him every day. The hole in the pit of my stomach that I felt 32 years ago is gone but the hole in my heart, the hole in my life has never been filled. And now my mother has died and I am left with another emptiness. No one can take her place. No one can ever take the place of anyone else. I love my wife; I love my sister and brother; but their love does not fill the voids - it helps comfort me a great deal and I thank G-d I have them, but the loss of Mom and Dad will always be there.

It's hard to believe that she is gone. I still get the feeling that I want to give her a call. In recent years I tried to call her every day, usually between 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon. Even now, when it gets to that time of day, I think, just for a split second, "I've got to call Mom." She didn't have a lot to say in the past year or so, but I miss those calls just the same.

My mother loved words of wisdom; she would quote proverbs and sayings all the time. Many famous axioms that I know, I first heard from her. "A stitch in time saves nine" was one of her favorites. She loved the expression, "Home Sweet Home" so much that she collected signs with that phrase. She believed in her expressions and, although I never realized it until now, she lived by them.

When we were kids she used to recite, "You lose a friend, you'll find another, but there'll never be a friend like your own dear mother."

There was another phrase she would say from time to time. She would say, usually when someone famous died, "well, he's gone with the wind."

In my religion we believe that although our bodies wear out and die, our souls are with G-d. It is comforting to believe that at some point in time, we will be united once again with our loved ones in a better place. I'd like to think that in some way I will see my mother and father again, healthy and happy and together.

So, although right now she is out of my mortal life and I will never be able to touch or see her on earth again, it helps to believe that in the big picture, my mother is not "gone with the wind" at all. In the future we all will meet again in heaven and I will have all the time I need to spend with her. G-d willing.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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