Christa Ferrari, Riverview FL.
Marker at Bloomingdale and Hwy 301 Riverview FL.
It’s almost 13 years since my world changed. 13 years that still feels like yesterday. Time does not heal wounds. It just lets you learn how to live with them. I try to only think about the things that my Mom left behind for me. Things that were “her” that are now me. She loved to see a rainbow, she adored the color purple, she had a strange likeness for Marching Band music, she loved all the John Denver songs (except for one) and Barbra Streisand’s Christmas album could be played any time of the year. These are part of me now. She loved the ocean (better than the bay), I still have her bottle of Shalamar perfume (I smell it to smell her) I still wear her bathrobe and I read her diary. 13 years and I can’t sit here and write these things without crying.
We grew up in NJ, but my Mom always loved the Sunshine State. So after I got married, she sold me her house in NJ and she packed her U-Haul and headed for FL. About the same time her moving van got there, I found out I was pregnant with my son. My Mom was so happy. And so angry. She had just moved away. So we spent the next 5 years doing the 3-4 visits a year thing. It wasn’t enough. So I built a house in Riverview 3 miles from my Mom and we were all together. It was wonderful. My son got the bus at her house in the morning and she was there to meet him when he got home from school. They would go the pool or play or cook or whatever. But for about 3 years everything was perfect. And then one day it wasn’t. It all ended. It was just…gone.
My Mom was the rock that held everyone together. She never forgot a birthday, she would shop for Christmas presents in March, she left the Christmas tree up until at least April, and she would talk to anyone and everyone. The people at the toll booth were her favorite. She felt they spent too much time alone and needed someone to say hi to them. LOL, It would take her forever in the hotel lobby because she would take every brochure in their display claiming she was going to see and do everything. She started the “Mock Thanksgiving” tradition. That’s when it could be the middle of summer but Mom had a craving for a big Turkey dinner. It’s hard to find turkey in the summer by the way. She knew all the answers when we would watch Jeopardy and she loved to play board games. I miss all these things. I miss her.
I talked to her every day. More than once. We just did. Except for that day. I don’t know why. I have tried to think about what I did that day that was so different that I did not even talk to her one time. I remember the last time I was with her was the night before. I was leaving her house to go home and I looked back as I pulled away and she had already gone inside. She always stood and waved. But not that time. It’s strange and heart-wrenching when those little things are in your mind. If I had I done something different..maybe taken her out somewhere the next day..maybe she would not have been at that light… at that spot..at that time..at that moment…. maybe. It’s easy to torture yourself with these thoughts.
Her faith in God was great. She ran the Sunday School classes and her kids adored her. She volunteered for everything and everyone knew her. Everyone loved her. I know God loved her and he is with her now but I wish he had given us a little more time with her here. Nothing has been the same she left. It changed everything. One moment, one careless driver going through a light and your everything changes forever. Nothing is the same and you can’t get it back. You can only remember and push forward. Some people will never understand THE feeling and that’s a good thing. I’m glad they don’t. For the ones who do understand, I am so sorry. I would not wish this pain or emptiness on anyone. Just do one day at a time. That’s all you can do. I moved away from FL. There were too many memories to stay. But, her marker is still there. As long as I am around it will remain there. Even if one person sees it a day and thinks twice about driving a little safer, then it has served its purpose.
Hopefully, someone reads this who did not know my Mom at all, and will now know what a wonderful person she was and how much she is missed. It will be like she talked to one more stranger. I know she would like that.
I miss you, Mom. Everyday. See you again.