I lost my Mom years ago, but I still think of her every Mother’s Day, and on lots of the days in between. She was such a great mom. She had this way of always knowing exactly how I was feeling, especially if I was upset about something. Growing up, I was your typical stoic male—always keeping my feelings hidden. The only time I really opened up was when I was playing a song. I guess I’m still like that a little.
My mom had a way of knowing when I was upset about something, and she had a way of drawing it out of me that always made me feel better. After I moved out, we kept in touch by phone, and sometimes the conversations would go on for an hour or more. We always talked about me. I was pretty self-absorbed in those days, even more so than today. Also, that was her style. Whenever she talked to anyone, she always made the other person the focus of the conversation.
There was one Mother’s Day when I was in my twenties that I forgot completely. I didn’t send a card or flowers. I didn’t even call. I guess my Mom was pretty upset, and my Step Father called me and chewed me out pretty good. My immediate reaction was anger. What right did this guy have to speak to me like that? I told him to “f— himself” and slammed down the phone, but the moment the receiver hit the cradle, I knew he was right. How could I have been so inconsiderate after all she had done for me? I never forgot another Mother’s Day after that.
When my Mother died, I was the last of her three children to come and see her and say goodbye. I knew she would die if I came, and I wasn’t ready to let her go. But I also knew I couldn’t let her go without seeing her one last time. I went to her straight from the airport. I told her I loved her, I thanked her for being my Mom, and I said goodbye. She couldn’t talk, but I could tell from her eyes that she understood everything I said. A few minutes later, she passed. That was almost 15 years ago. I wrote a song about it a few months ago, and I called it Away You Go Flying because it didn’t seem to me like she died. It seemed like she just left.