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Kevin Ealy, Friend Since 1984

Being able to make someone laugh can be a powerful form of carrying weight. After my mom died, I found a diary app on her iPad that said, “Hello my son. When you are on a roll, you can make me laugh, even if — or especially if — you are mimicking me.” My mom was found incapacitated in her home on 5/11 and died in hospital 5/13. When I arrived at her quiet home later on the 13th, I looked through her mail that had collected over the last few days. It was the day before Mother’s Day and I realized that the card I had sent her was not in the pile of mail on the kitchen counter. Mom wasn’t big on gifts, but greeting cards were important to her. It bothered her that she couldn’t get out to shop for cards for special occasions. It didn’t matter that I would call her on her birthday or holidays; it mattered that I sent a card to note each occasion. It bothered me that it appeared she hadn't received the Mother's Day card in time, so that I could remind her that her son loved her, even if I didn’t show it by moving back to Iron Mountain as she had been asking me to do since 1985! I’ll stop the story for a second to tell you another. Mom had carpal tunnel issues. Made it difficult for her to open things. I would point out and joke that mom would tackle cereal boxes with a knife that would make Norman Bates look like a stabbing amateur. Back to the first story - later that day, in one of her bedrooms, on my great grandmother's chair, I found the Mother's Day card I had sent, opened, with a massacred envelope. I started to cry. I knew she had received the card. I kept it along with the envelope. There was no doubt who had opened that card. I may never reread the card to see what I wrote, but I will never throw away that envelope. That, coupled with finding the comment in her app diary, will hopefully convince me someday that maybe I wasn’t a bad son. I could have done better, but I loved my mom, and was proud of her to the best of my ability. Sorry I’m not a very good story teller, but finding that card and diary comment have meant the world to me.


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