It’s been about 15 years since my mom died of breast cancer. The pain from the loss has subsided over the years, but the desire to share important moments with her hasn’t.
There have been so many times when I’ve thought to myself, “I wish Mom could be here for this.” I wish she could have been there to see me get my license, go to prom, graduate from high school and college, and get my first job. I wish she could be here for all the things you turn to your mom for as you get older — things like figuring out how to replicate her signature dinners, picking out a wedding dress and becoming a mom yourself.
Even though I haven’t been able to turn to Mom, I’ve always been able to turn to my dad (and my grandmas). My dad’s been a constant in my life — someone I can turn to for advice and who always is willing to listen. Though we live more than 1,000 miles apart, we’re still just as close as ever.
He always finds ways to show he cares about me, his only child. He reads every one of the stories I write for work and gives me feedback on them. He’ll always make time to talk to me on the phone even when he’s having a crazy busy day. And it’s not unusual for him to send me an email that says “I LOVE YOU, MALLARY!!!!” in oversized, colored font. He’s perhaps the biggest sentimentalist I know.
Given how close we are, I can’t help but love the new Google Chrome commercial about a girl named Jess who has lost her mom and is keeping in touch with her dad via Gchat during her freshman year at college. I’ll admit: I cried when I watched it the other day. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. The commercial made me think about how lucky I am to have my dad, and how much I miss my mom. And it was a gentle reminder that it’s OK to still get sad about the loss of a parent, even if you lost that parent more than 15 years ago.
My dad can’t take the place of my mom; no dad can, no matter how hard they try. But he’s certainly helped fill the void.
If you haven’t seen the Chrome commercial, you should take a minute to watch it here. (Note the dad’s blank stare after his daughter virtually introduces him to her new boyfriend. It’s priceless.)