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Ester Marsh column: Always in my heart

As my birthday is approaching on Wednesday, the nine-month anniversary of my mom’s death is Tuesday.

This will be the first birthday when she is not here, calling me at 5 a.m. and saying, “Happy birthday (of course in Dutch). Did I wake you up?” I would reply, “Yes Mom, but it’s OK!”

I am so fortunate to have had my mom for 51 years and 3 months. She will be always in my heart.

This past Saturday, my husband and I were running on the beautiful trails at Salisbury Community Park which is off Hurley School Road. We go together but run separately because my husband runs faster than me and I want it to be a pleasant experience!

While I am running, thinking of my mom and listening to my music for my August Estelatte class, Eric Clapton came on with “Tears in Heaven.” If you don’t know the story of this song, it was written because his young son fell out of a window of a high-rise and died. Being sad about my mom, it instantly made me think that my mom was 83 and had lived an amazing life and was ready to leave this earthly life. Eric Clapton and so many other families have to say goodbye to much younger people.

As I am listening to his song, I turned right on one of the running/bike trails at the park and I look down and I see a huge white mushroom. It was the shape of what should have been the red one with white dots but this one was all white with raised “dots.” You are probably wondering what this has to do with death. I was so fortunate to be home for two months helping my mom go through her last phase. Having a big melanoma in her lung, she didn’t have the strength to walk much so we used a wheelchair. Being outside made my mom bloom so I took her wherever she wanted to go! She wanted to go over behind one of the nearby lakes. A big part of going on these adventures was to look for mushrooms. Any shape, size or color, my mom would get so excited. We would take pictures and tell the story of the mushrooms when we would get back.

I stopped and took a picture of this big white beautiful mushroom. And was thankful I had this experience and felt it was definitely a huge connection with my mom at that moment.

For Eric Clapton to be able to put his terrible loss in song has helped me, and I know so many others deal with losing loved ones, many too soon. My mom was, is and always will be in my heart. And Eric, I know in heaven your son would know your name and hold your hand.

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the JF Hurley YMCA

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