The Day We Lost Ruth

18 years ago today, my mother was fetched by an angel to be brought home to join gone loved ones eternally. To her, that rest was probably blissful, her ultimate adventure after her lifetime and experience for the first time the splendor of what she once only dreamed and imagined about, heaven.

Stone Mountain — Atlanta Georgia October 2001

The legacy she left was a family who even when they are not altogether, maybe miles apart from each other, will always come together as one linked strongly by the love she taught them, the love she blessed them with, the strength and grace to carry and pass on that love.

I remember delivering my eulogy. How I summed up together the years, the special moments that made her uniquely mommy in my eyes. My list could go on and on…yet in retrospect, I could also remember the thoughts that raced in my brain as I stood beside her coffin giving my last goodbye. I thought of a promise to take care of Daddy, Mae, and Sandee. A promise I carried and will keep during my lifetime.

Letting go of mommy was hard. At times I was angry. Why did she have to go so soon? Why didn’t she take care of herself better? I was in denial for quite a while until I have visited Daddy 6 months later.

We were treading the same water and I was suddenly reminded of the promise I made. It took each other to see what we’re going through to almost instantly tell each other to let go. Daddy and I were walking by an alley leading to the golden gate bridge when he said, all these places bathed in their beauty are now without meaning. I can’t seem to find beauty in them as I used to when I was sharing it with your mom. With her by my side, it was so easy to climb the top. She made it easy for me to be somebody. It pinched my heart to hear him say that. Daddy was usually a man of few words and in those few lines, I understood how profound his grief might have been.

On the one side, I was proud of my mom. Theirs was a love so deep, faithful to their vows until death does them part. Suddenly, I panicked at the thought of losing him too. Studies show that couples who are very close won’t be around long without the other.

I mustered all the courage I have and summoned whatever is left in my left brain to let him know that no one can ever replace mommy but now he has to be both mommy and daddy to us too. He argued and said we are all grown-ups now and can take care of ourselves. Sure thing I said, but we wouldn’t want to lose him that soon either. Please be Daddy to us still. I begged him that. And he turned quiet. It’s been almost 11 years since that talk and I’m proud of him to have remained steadfast. He even over-deliver.

Thank you to my friends who rushed to Fairview in the wee hours of that night when we learned of mom’s passing. Meg, for staying on the phone with me as I was shaking in utter disbelief.

My brain was in circus, struggling to come to terms with the news, and numb at the searing pain of loss.

I miss you heaps mom!

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Lani Domaloy

Lani Domaloy

Storyteller | Spiritual Seeker | Nature Lover | Digital Entrepreneur