Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Dear little girl…

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I don’t mean in the sense that something exciting is happening, or I’ve got a bunch of big plans. More in the way of it’s a calendar date that I never forget and always reflect on.

It was August 3, 1970 when the world changed for me. And for the last 48 years, it’s August 3rd that I still feel the pain of that day and our loss.

I know there are a whole lot of you reading this now, that know exactly how I feel. Losing a parent, especially when you are a child, is something you never fully “get over”.  

Sure we walk around looking like ourselves on the outside, but inside there’s a little girl or boy who is crying. And every year when this date comes around, I want to hold that little girl and tell her it will be okay.

Here I sit, at 59, trying to write this with tears streaming down my face. The emotions that I feel inside are every bit as strong, if not stronger, than they were that day.

On that day, and many more afterwards, I didn’t feel anything at all. But as an adult I know what I truly lost on that Sunday so long ago.

I had no mother to talk to when my period came at age 12. She wasn’t there the day I graduated from high school either. When I was busy planning my wedding, there was no “Mother of the Bride” to help me pick out a dress or flowers.

But probably the day I felt the most profound loss was the day my first child was born. Holding my newborn son in my arms, looking down at his scrunched up pink face, I felt so sad that my Mom wasn’t there to meet him.

And I cried for him too. He would never get to know his grandmother. He’d never hear her voice or feel her touch, and that was the saddest feeling of all.

I vowed that day to stay healthy and do everything in my power to stay alive and full of life for as long as I could. My mother didn’t take care of herself. She put everyone else’s needs above her own, and had an unhealthy “white bread” diet.

I’ve been very conscientious of my health and diet my entire adult life because of that. And, I’ve already outlived my Mom by 11 years. (Funny, I just realized that I was 11 when she died.)

Me and my parents

I want to be able to say I outlived her by 30 years.

Each year on the anniversary of her death, I’ve taken a few moments to reflect on her life and how she lived it. Perhaps this year I will change that and instead take a few moments to reflect on my life and how I see myself in one year or even in thirty years.

Staying fit and healthy is my number one priority. I have to shift my thinking to the future, and me and tell that little girl everything will be okay…because it is.

11 Comments

  1. I relate to your feelings on this day, as I feel similarly on the day my son died. Actually I feel that way for weeks before that date. I just relieve his experience and the events that lead to his accident. So I sort of know what you are going through. I lost my mom 2 years ago, but it’s so different when they lived a long life and were there for my formative years, wedding, grandchildren, etc. I will be thinking of you and hope that you will feel loved and protected by your husband and family.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-08-02 at 09:04

      Cindy I thought of you when I wrote this…I wanted to say that losing a parent is painful, but the loss of a child is so unbearable. I didn’t want to write that because I (thankfully) do not have that experience.

      I can so understand, however, reliving the experience.

      Thank you, my friend…

    • Bless your heart, Cindy. Losing a child is so very difficult.

  2. Oh my goodness Loretta!! I knew there was truly an instant connection with us and every time I read your blogs, I understand why!! I too lost my mother at the tender age of 10!! Life-changing doesn’t even touch it!! Thank you for sharing this and I will certainly keep you in prayer!!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-08-02 at 14:28

      Thank you Aimee…we do share a connection, and I so appreciate you reading and sharing your story with me also.

  3. Kathryn Aebig

    2018-08-02 at 14:35

    Momma’s are so important. Sniff.

  4. Your post had me thinking of my parents. Unfortunately, back on those days access to information, specially in regards to health & fitness lifestyle, wasn’t as easy and widespread as we have it nowadays. I think it is important to reflect on the lives of those who are dear to us, present and past alike, as well as our own. Thank you for sharing.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-08-02 at 20:35

      Thank you Chiara…for reading and your kind comment. You are so correct…

  5. Your post always have such meaning and impact on me. Knowing the woman you’ve become having grown up without a mom around during the most important years makes you all that more amazing. Thank you for being the kind of writer that reaches through the computer to tug on my heart strings or to dry my own tears.

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