Helen Nellie Urbanski Luckey
01/06/1923 – 02/21/2013
It’s taken me a month to be able to open up your photo album.
A month of sitting with the fact that you now exist in eternity,
no longer within the confines of Time and Space.
I finally said it.
So long for now.
You never would say goodbye.
I sobbed as I flipped through the pages.
I remember this album from when I was a little girl,
the time before me . . .
My first thoughts were
GOOD LORD WOMAN, you are
No wonder I have always had such a romantic image of the time
I love this picture, even though your head is cut off . . .
brilliant shot with the focus on Those Legs.
You should have been a model.
My only wish is that you would not have had to go through the last few years
in so much pain, so far away.
I want to keep my last memories of us as the time you and Daddy
came and lived with me when he was on Hospice.
We had a lot of fun then, Mommy.
Me putting you and Daddy to bed in my living room,
each of us calling out
Good Night John Boy.
Good Night Mary Ellen.
Daddy got better and you both went back to Utah.
Or better yet, This Mommy.
The Mommy that I did not know how I would live without if you never
came home from the hospital from your gallbladder surgery.
You both look like movie stars.
You were the stars of your own life.
I now know for fact what I always believed to be true;
In the end, only love remains.
Human frailties accepted and forgiven.
You were a faithful Servant of The Lord.
You gave me Great Faith.
Yet, I must say,
I am a little disappointed that you did not stop by
before you left.
I was always certain that you would;
that I would know before I was told.
Thank you for staying with me the first two weeks
after you left.
I felt you on every walk,
in every breath,
in every tear,
telling me that it was okay,
it’s just like being born.
It’s as if you have been gone forever
and yet, as if you never left,
all in the same moment.
I don’t feel you now.
You’ve got other work to do.
Daddy is lost without you.
I am actually amazed that Daddy was able
to take a breath without you.
I’m sure you are speaking with God as I type,
asking for arrangements for
to join you.
I was on the phone listening
while the Priest anointed you.
and the nurse sang
your favorite song.
I told Daddy where you were going and that
you would wait for him.
Just like you did when he went to war.
As I pulled this picture from the frame,
I noted the inscription on the back. You wrote:
Born to be wild. All my love, Mom.
You were one
Bad Ass Mother.
I say that with complete respect, love,
and a lot of awe.
Life well lived, Mommy.
So long for now.