Mom had style. (Submitted)

Liam’s Lowdown: To the mom I never had

She died from ovarian cancer in her mid 40s soon after I was born

Eventually, our parents die. They might not mean to, but they do. Sometimes it’s sooner than expected.

My mother died from cancer when I was eight months old. When diagnosed, the doctors gave her six months to live and unlike a Disney movie, she fulfilled that expectation perfectly. I always thought it was ironic that my star sign is Cancer. I wasn’t breastfed as mom was too sick, her life slowly ebbing.

The Harrap family pre-Liam. (Submitted)

I didn’t even know what a ‘mother’ was until I went to school. All the other kids had this woman handing them lunch bags and giving them hugs and kisses at the start of the day. Weird.

I remember when I asked dad about what happened to mom. He was kneading bread at the time, his hands and arms wrapped in sticky dough. He suddenly stopped. A look of dread washed over his face as if the question had come sooner then he wished. Of course, I already knew the answer. She was dead.

While my mom didn’t brandish a sword or lead armies to battle, she had a similarity with Caesar. They both died on the same day.

My dad raised me the best he could. He was the best father I could have asked for. While he had no money, he gave me something far more valuable. His time.

The only thing I have from my mom is a card, “To my darling little boy from his mommy.” If my house caught fire and I could only take a handful of things, that would be one of them.

What I know of my mom is from faint echoes left behind, like spaghetti spilled on white carpet. The noodles are gone but the marinara stains remain.

My sister said our mom was ahead of her time. She had real eclectic Bohemian style and wore fuchsia lipstick. Her drinks of choice were coffee and red wine. Mom had always wanted to go to Hawaii. Her favourite movie was Grease and while she loved to sing, she was terrible. Absolutely tone-deaf.

Mom and me. My sister said mom didn’t want me to see her dying as babies shouldn’t be around death. So, I didn’t spend much time with her for the last three months of her life. This photo was taken in the final grips of cancer. (Submitted)

Apparently mom was also very good at making kimchi.

My sister said she has used mom as a guideline for life. Mom told her to avoid people who create drama and the importance of cherishing and maintaining close friends. My sister was 15 when mom died.

Mom apparently always gave good advice. When she first met her best friend, mom told her to “stick with me — I know every bathroom in this town.”

She knew it was always important to be prepared for the worst. For example, mom kept candy and treats in her sewing machine. Just in case.

In many ways, mom lived a simple life. She wasn’t a doctor, lawyer or general. She didn’t find the cure for polio, discover the Northwest Passage or step foot on the moon.

She lived. She loved. She gave life. And there’s something inspiring about that.

If your mom is still alive, give her a hug and tell her all the things you’ve meant to but haven’t. Because eventually, she will die. She might not mean to, but she will.

Sometimes it’s sooner than expected.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ColumnistMother's Day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

My sister said our mom was ahead of her time. She had a real eclectic bohemian style and wore fuchsia lipstick. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Serious assault leaves Osoyoos woman in critical condition: RCMP

A 60-year-old Osoyoos woman suffers life threatening injuries following assault inside home

Not all receive COVID-19 aid from federal government

Summerland woman does not qualify for federal assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

Pair of Penticton Vees forwards eye NHL Entry Draft

Danny Weight and Ryan McGuire included in Central Scouting’s final draft rankings

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

South Shuswap residents criticize upgrades to Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Reliance on frontage roads and narrow underpasses near Blind Bay not good enough

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

All international flights at YLW have been suspended, airport to operate just nine flights a day

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

COVID-19: Vernon pet grooming store closed temporarily after symptoms shown

Wet Spot Grooming and Pet Care to announce return Easter Monday

WATCH: Vernon gyms bring workouts home

‘This doesn’t change what’s happening in the world, but it can change how you cope with it’

Most Read