Saturday, June 27, 2009

Six Years and I Still Miss You

Mom is on the left in this picture. The poor girl on the right had her tap pants on backwards. Mom joked that this was the last time she had skinny thighs.

Six years ago today I lost my best friend. My mom, Catherine Patricia O'Rourke Erickson. She was rear-ended on the Interstate on her way home from my house and after four excruciating days she left us.

Mom was born and grew up in Livingston, MT, near Yellowstone Park. She was a fun-loving girl who was well-liked by her friends. She worked mostly as a cook and was a very good one. She spent many summers cooking for the workers in Yellowstone at Mammoth. She was married twice, the first time to the love of her life, my Dad.

Life wasn't easy but she always could laugh her way through. She had customers at the cafe she worked at that would only come in if Mom was on shift. They needed their daily fix of harassment and good food.

We lived in the small town of Belgrade, Montana. Every year they hold the Fall Festival, and every year Mom would dress up and walk in the parade. She was a New Year's Baby, a fly, a duck, the Happy Hooker, an angel, an old lady on a motorcycle, a lady in a bathtub and many more I'd have to dig deep in my brain to remember. Years later I still hear her old friends and acquaintances tell me the Fall Festival will never be the same without Mom.

Of course we didn't always get along perfectly, we were mother and daughter after all, but through the years we developed a closeness that most mothers and daughters would envy. We were very much alike-creative, crafty, and good cooks. We loved to take road trips together and thought nothing of driving a hundred miles to check out a fabric store or craft shop. I'd get a call, "Let's go to town and 'feel some material,'" her way of suggesting at trip to the fabric stores. Every Saturday one of us would call the other and we'd gab for at least an hour, sometimes three. I kept asking God to let me keep her for a few more years because Mom was my lifeline and my best pal. For reasons known only to Him, she didn't get to stay.

Mom, it still doesn't seem like you've gone anywhere, let alone being gone for six years already. I know you're laughing with Jesus and someday I'll see you again.

Are there fabric stores in Heaven?

In high school-approximately sixteen years old.

As a young adult-around twenty. Isn't she striking? She had thicker hair than anyone I ever knew.

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