|"Terry" Theresa E. Chavez|
Today is a solemn day for us here on Cherokee Street. It was 3 years ago today, March 26th, 2009 we lost a very precious person on our block. I know I may sound prejudice because she was my mother; however, she was also somebody to a lot of other people too. A friend to many, a mentor to many others, confidant, advice dispenser, Betty Crocker instructor, girlfriend, best friend, boss, barkeep, and many others I can't think of right now.
Theresa "Terry" had just turned 51 in December when she passed away; 4 days after her mother's birthday. That day will forever be ingrained into my memory. Today; instead of watching time go by without her, our family has chosen to take the best and worst that we have learned from our mother, and move forward with life. I still to this day find myself in the previous habits her and I had; like answering the phone "Charlie's Rent-A-Weenie how can I help you?" and "::tisk:: poor thing…" whenever a certain someone's name is mentioned and even sitting in our old favorite spot in church from time to time.
Life goes on, and boy does it. There are time's I wished she was still here to see some of the things this family has accomplished, and other times I'm thankful that she isn't here to see some of the failures that we've been thru. I use to question God and ask why did she have to go at such a young age, and now I realize God has a perfect plan; and it's not for us to understand. Just simply know that it was best for both her and us. Maybe so she wouldn't be in so much pain any more from her ailments; or just maybe God saved her from a death worse than just passing in her sleep. God has his plan, and it's not up to us to question it.
Still I pause myself whenever I hear Allen Jackson's "Sissy's Song", Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird", or Boy's II "Men's Mama". However, that chest clenching pain that just takes your breath away has subsided showing how merciful God is when he says "Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4) I remember asking God for comfort, and I kept repeating that verse in my head over and over and over… Until it finally sank in that God is here to comfort us in these situations if we know him, ask and believe that he is here for us. It doesn't make the pain go away any easier, however, it does help deal with it a lot better than just allowing myself to be driven insane.
3 years ago yesterday, on March 25th, was the last time I saw and talked to my mother, so instead of spending the day today wallowing in misery that she is gone, the family got together at the Cemetery to celebrate and remember her life. The kids laughed and played as if they were in the park. The Family carried on with regular conversation about issues of the day, rather than the miseries of old. Life does go on, lest we not forget what we learned, and where we learned it from. I will never forget my mother; a single mom growing up as we were growing up; learning the same lessons we had to learn, and maturing at a rate far beyond what she should have. Suffered from unbelievable pain, survived cancer, pried herself from the clutches of Death on more than one occasion, beat all odds, set some standards, and was living proof that God IS a Miracle Working God.
I know that there are some who still have not moved on from loosing her; and I say this to you: Celebrate her life, and what she was to you, and move forward with that. Thru all her struggles, and experiences, she chose life, and focused on it until the bitter end. Learn from that, emulate that; and you will truly honor her memory!
Michael D. Chavez
C.E.O. & Oldest Brother