Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mother’s death.
It’s odd to describe as “fortunate” one’s ability to attend a death. But I was surely fortunate to be able to be with Mom at the time of her death, as well as the 3 months leading up to it. It was a special time for me, and I think for her. If I had the power to script the way I wanted to leave this earth, I’d copy Mom’s way.
Memory is a funny thing: I frequently forget what happened last week, but have crystal clear memories of pedestrian conversations and activities with Mom that took place over 2 years ago. I guess it’s the longer-term version of the mind’s ability to remember what one was doing when a single significant event took place (yes, I remember when Kennedy was shot like it was yesterday).
Although the tears have mostly abated, I so often think of Mom. I still mentally take note during the week about things I’d want to tell her on our every-Sunday night phone calls. She was a political news junkie, and would be full of opinions about what is happening today (I can imagine her AIG bonus rant). She would have been fascinated by my ankle replacement.
But she was also a trusted confidant, someone to whom I could turn without hesitation to ask her advice. Oh, she could be judgmental and subject to knee-jerk reactions, but when she really listened, her advice was generally spot-on. I wish I could use her counsel now.
I am so lucky that in my adult years, I could count my mother as mother/friend (trust me, those who knew us in my younger years would have never seen the friend part happen). It was the combination of our friendship and our blood relationship that permitted those final months to be so memorable for me. Yes, we sometimes shared tears, but we shared far more openness, fun, laughter, and love.
In the face of Mom’s death, we shared life.