I thought about posting a song or poem of something that would be equally “appropriate” to commemorate the moment you passed away. (It has been one year to the hour that you passed away, but it seems really stupid to tell you that.) But, then, I realized that if you saw me post something like that, you would roll your eyes so far back in your head you would sprain something. You wouldn’t want that. I know that. You would want me to think about what you gave to me and left behind–not what you took with you.
Thank you for my love of music and lack of rhythm. (What a combo you decided to bestow upon me! Could you not have combined some genes to give me at least an angelic voice and not the sound of someone stomping on a cat’s tail?) Either way, thanks for showing me that music can heal a broken heart, take you back to a time you cherish and say what you feel when you don’t know how to say it yourself. There has always been music in my life. It looks like I am passing it on to your grandchildren as well. (But I think they may have more rhythm than I do.)
Thank you for showing me that laughing out loud–usually with an emphasis on the “loud” part– is not something to be embarrassed about. If it bothers other people, they need to learn to lighten up and laugh a bit louder every now and then. The kids still aren’t sure they fully enjoy going to the movies with me when it is a comedy we are going to see, but they have learned that it is something that is “just the way mom is.” Laughter is the best medicine. I am glad I have learned to laugh at myself as well. As often as I mess up, it comes in handy. (Which could totally lead me into a discussion about cooking, my lack of skill in that area and the necessity to be able to laugh at myself, but I won’t go there. I could have learned how to cook all of those years at home growing up you when you were cooking dinner, but there were always other things calling for my attention.)
Thanks for my passion for reading. And writing. They both have been gifts that have taken me places I could never have dreamed possible. Just like you, I always have a book with me. I remember our many days at the library followed by eagerly hopping into bed, snuggling under the covers for some reading and a nap on rainy summer days. Gabriella has started doing the same. You live on, Mom, in both of us.
And, though silly as I know this sounds, somehow I think I must thank you for the ability to sit through the cheesiest of cheesy movies and still cry when they want me to. (Though sometimes I find myself laughing about it and knowing that they will get me even though I am totally making fun of the movie.) I completely blame it on the many years of watching Days of Our Lives with you. (Don’t worry. I still keep in touch with Salem. Same cheese. Same stories. Still cry over that horrific Christmas tree ornament hanging show.)
Thank you most of all for showing me how to be a mother. I have big shoes to fill if I am going to try to be as good to my children as you were to yours. I pray I can leave them with the happiest memories of laughter, music and dance as you have left with me. Thank you for teaching me by example that I can be there for them without ever having to talk down to them or try to become their peer. I don’t know how you always balanced it so well, but you always did. (Though I am pretty sure there were times you wanted so badly to just drop the Mom role and be the friend, you always knew when you could and when you couldn’t. Thank you for knowing the difference. I hope I learned how to do that, too.)
Finally, thank you for always being who you were without apology. And showing me it is okay to be that way. I am forever grateful for that. You were always my best friend. You were always there for me. You were always the stable rock that I knew would bring music, dancing, laughter, comfort, support, friendship, and most of all love when I needed it. I miss you every day of my life and I always will.
I love you, Mom. I miss you. It’s been a very long year. Help me make it through the next one with a bit more ease. I am not sure I can do this without knowing you are watching over me.
(My Mom passed away January 6, 2006 at 3:06am. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and wish I could just be with her again. A whole year?)