>After 5 years, I thought it would be easier. It’s not. Not yet.

I stopped by to visit a friend on Saturday. He’s usually very upbeat and fun. He’s the General manager for a local car dealership. I’ve never seen him mad or stressed.

While he was at a sporting event the other night, he got word that his mother had passed away. He is feeling extremely guilty because some thing urged him ‘to stop by and see her’ before going out with his friends. He told me, “I just didn’t want to see her that way, in that nursing home.” She was 97 years old. I tried to assure him she lived a very long, fulfilling life.

As I’m attempting to speak comfort to him about what I went through with my mom’s passing in the summer of 2006, the fallout with my youngest brother… those painful feelings came back to me.

And haunted me all day. And gave me a bad dream. In my dream, I kept checking on my mother who was sleeping in the next room. I kept touching her foot under the covers. She would jump up and say, “What are you doing? I can’t get any rest!”

I was jolted up at 3am this morning with the reality that she’s been gone for 5 years.

Like my friend, many years went by without any contact with my mom. My radio career has put in in many areas in the country that was no where near her. And I was very bad about calling and keeping in touch. Usually on her birthday and Christmas.

And we had a fight about a year before she died and I didn’t speak to her until about 6 months before she was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Almost happy ending: Mom and I made peace about our past together. She actually took her last breath in my arms. Just before she died, she opened up her eyes, smiled like I’ve never seen her smile, laid back down, EVERY wrinkle on her beautiful face went away, and she began her new journey.

I’ve been an on again/off again Christian believer since my early 20’s. But something happened to me, inside, when she smiled. Mom saw someone that she was very happy to see. A long lost relative or friend? God? That “life long movie” we heard happens before we die?

Whatever it was, she was in total joy!

I miss my mom every day. I see her in my little boy. Smells, songs, TV shows bring her to my thoughts. Yes, guilt still taps me on the shoulder now and then also. But I’m comforted in knowing that one day, I too will see what she saw. And hopefully my loved ones around me, Lord willing, will see that same joy in my face before I join her again.