My mom was all the things I wished I was: outgoing, funny, incredibly brave, a great cook, amazing with plants, incredibly wise, and oddly intuitive. She made life seem colorful and humorous.
Unfortunately, she was also sick for the second half of her life. I have to say, despite it all, she handled her illness with grace. She never complained to me about being sick, or feeling sick, she just kept pushing to live her life to the fullest, embracing the moments, seizing each day. She loved her grandson and filled her walls with his pictures. If I had to choose one of the biggest regrets about losing her 17 years ago, it would be that her and my son missed out on the most amazing relationship. She was the first to hold him when he was born, and I don’t think I’ve her seen her as proud as when she cradled him in the hospital. I think she called every phone number in her address book that morning to tell them she had a beautiful grandson. 😊
Today would have been my mom’s 68th birthday. Each year as this day comes, I prepare myself, each year intending on not letting myself get too down, and instead celebrate what a beautiful experience it was having a mother that was as neat as her. On our last vacation together, we spent a couple weeks at a family cottage in upstate NY on the finger lakes.
It was her first and only time spending so much time with her grandson, my son (we lived far apart). They had an absolute blast together. It was very clear that they were two peas in a pod. She made sure we did everything we planned to do, no matter how hard she pushed herself. She never complained and spent all day, every day playing with her grandson. Those memories at the cottage are some of my most treasured.
As I’ve shared here before I believe my mom had MECFS. I know other things contributed to her being chronically ill but her symptoms and mine, her labs and mine, are mostly the same. I can’t help but think that maybe if there were a test, and treatment she might still be here. I miss her more than words can articulate, still, but I know that she would have wanted me to celebrate her, her life, her colorfulness, her laugh, but mostly she’d want me to smile (not a phone call went by where she didn’t either tell me to breath or smile, often both). Today’s blog is in memory of my mom, the chronic illness warrior, the lover of life, the funniest, wittiest, most be-true-to-yourself mom and grandma I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Love you, mom 🌸
I’d like to close by sharing one of my favorite poems:
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints of snow.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of,
quiet birds circled flight.
I am the soft stars
that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there. I did not die.
~ Mary Frye, 1932.
A few more doodles from World Watercolor Group prompts below. And I forgot one more thing from above, starting at about 12 my mom started encouraging me to write, thinking I’d likely become a writer, so she’d love this blogging thing I’m doing here. 😊