My Mom

My mom passed away on Sunday evening. She finally succumbed to NTM. She was 80 years old and happily married for 56 years. I’ll miss her dearly. I’ll especially miss our weekly Sunday phone calls which always made me feel loved and centered.

A couple of years ago, I asked her to settle a friendly debate between my sister and I. At the time, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how people swim more than 75 yards without stopping. My big sis’ said, “I think you’re either born a fish or you're not.” “Really?” I wondered. So I asked my mom, “What do you think?” She chuckled and said, “Well speak for yourself, but I was a Junior Lifeguard when I was 13 at Girl Scout camp.” “Really?!” I said.

I never knew that about her. She said, “I almost passed the test when I was 12, but I was such a pipsqueak, I had trouble carrying a grown man in the water. We had to swim a mile out to a small island in Maine. So I think you could learn how to swim better. It might take a while, but you can do it.”

It was the nudge I needed. Like so many other gentle ones she gave me over the years. Learning to play an instrument. Writing thank-you notes. Collecting for charity. Going to business school. The list is endless. Now I can swim a mile. And I’ve discovered this triathlon way of life that truly makes me happy. In the end, I know that made her happy.