My mom died on March 30th of this year. My relationship with her was so layered and complex that it would take a long time to cover all of it. There was a lot of good, some bad, and in recent years I spent so much time taking care of her and making the 120 mile trip down to see her every three or four weeks, that some of it was just sheer work. Most of her life she was a delight, though, and she tried not to make too much work for me.
She was funny--really, really funny. A silly sense of humor with just a touch of sarcasm to make it interesting. She was intelligent, well-read, loved flowers, sewing, visiting with her kids and grandkids. She was very creative and resourceful. Her life was not easy, but she was upbeat and hopeful most of the time.
My brothers, at first, were asking me what I'd do with all my free time now that I wasn't taking care of her. I thought, "Oh, no problem," and the first two months I was busy with inheritance stuff and forms and signatures and coping with other situations where I was needed. All of a sudden, now, two months later, I find I've actually been knocked off my pins by this. I try to talk about it but it's like I have no voice. I think I need to just journal about it for a while and not worry about other stuff. Transitions--they're never easy. But I was with her for the last week, and I was with her the day she died. I'm glad I was lucky enough to have that chance. It was hard, but at least I know she wasn't alone.
I think of her when I cook, when I look at my own child, when I talk to my brothers. She was the glue that held the family together. I was lucky to have known her. What a lady.