It’s been a hard few months. All this time I’ve thought that, at 53, I was an adult and had been one for quite some time. I found that wasn’t really true. It took the passing of my Mother on October 20th to finally feel grown up. Suddenly my brother, sisters and I were forced to figure things out. To take care of details that our mom always took care of. It was eye opening. It was a struggle. Countless times since her death I’ve reached for the phone to ask her something. She was the keeper of our history, the holder of our babies, the comfort at the other end of the line when a good day went sideways. I’ve struggled to get my head around the fact that she is really gone.
I keep trying to figure out how to pick up and go on after all of this. I’m creative by nature, but generally creativity springs from joy and I haven’t felt much of that lately. I seem to wander from project to project without enthusiasm and force myself to finish the 101 half finished things I have going.
The thing is, every time I decide to wallow in my grief and use it as an excuse to just stay home and hide out, I can hear my Mom saying “Quit your boobing (her term for crying) and get going.” And it makes me laugh, get up, and get going. It wasn’t that she wasn’t a compassionate woman. She really was. But she also wasn’t a quitter. In her life with 4 kids and family to care for, there just wasn’t time to sit down and wail for days at the injustice of it all. There was work to do. Kids to feed. Life to live.
When my siblings were getting things together for Mom’s memorial, they came across something she had written and tucked in her paperwork:
I want you to remember me with laughter. Remember all the silly things I did and said. Always remember how very much I loved my children and grandchildren and how proud I am of all of you. Having you all in my life has been what has given me more joy than words can say. I have been so blessed to have the privilege to be your mother and grandmother. I hope you remember me with love and, above all, I hope that we will be together again.”
I keep a copy of that where I can see it easily. and when I feel heartsick I pull it out and read it and use it as a “Buck up Sister!” from my mom. A reminder that life does go on and that there are children and grandchildren to love and care for. Things to see and do and experience with joy and wonder.
Each day that I wake up is a gift to me not to be taken lightly. There are so many things that I want to accomplish and I know that my Mom is there cheering me on every step of the way. This morning I read a great quote by Goethe that said “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power and a magic in it.”
Today, I’m grabbing the bull by the horns and facing the day with boldness and happy memories of my Mom.