Surely it must have happened when I was very young. Surely there was a little cuddling, a hug, a tender touch. But there is no memory of any affection, any tenderness extended towards me. Oh, I received lots of expressions of love from my older sisters. They were tickled to have a baby sister after having four brothers come into our home. But it seemed my relationship with mom was all brusqueness, practical, sterile. But I knew the day would come that my mother would embrace me and kiss me. I knew it because I saw what happened to my sister.
I was only nine when Evie got married. It was so exciting. Evie even bought me a coloring book about a couple who became engaged. Every page to color was about the steps they took preparing for the wedding. I colored each page and dreamed. Finally, the big day arrived. I don't remember a lot about the wedding itself, but I vividly remember the reception line. Standing off to the side, I watched as my mother came through, gave Evie a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I'm sure my eyes widened in wonder as I witnessed this demonstration of affection. From that moment on, I held it close to my heart - on my wedding day, I would receive a hug and kiss from my mother.
Ten years later, I was the bride. The ceremony went off beautifully and we were introduced as "Mr. and Mrs.". Walking down the aisle, I felt both anticipation and trepidation for the moment I had been awaiting for ten years. There were hugs, kisses and well-wishes from the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Then came my parents. A hug from my father, a perfunctory handshake from my mother. And a sense of something lost forever.
If she had died in her 80's - there is a lesson I would never have learned. I'm glad she didn't die in her 80's.