Of course all I did was think of Mom today. Whenever I think of her and the things she did and said, I have to smile. It’s only when I think of the rest of us, who can’t bear to be without her, that I cry.
I cry the most for my Dad, who can’t pretend that she’s still here and just an hour away. Every moment of every day I know he feels the loss. I know, no matter how much we love him or how much we want to spend time with him, we can’t fill the space that was Hers. I think of all the times he told me “I still get weak in the knees when I see her face.” It’s something I tell my friends when I want to give them a glimpse of the love they shared. I don’t think anyone, even those of us who lived with their love can comprehend the depth of it… and now, the depth of the loss.
But as Mom made so clear to us in her words and what she had written on the back of her prayer card, it was important to Her that our memories were happy ones. She didn’t spend her life, not even in her last months, being anything but optimistic, grateful, courageous and even happy, to her last days. And what I find most amazing is that she wasn’t faking it for us. That was the real Her. Here are Her exact words from an email (9-3-06), when I had questions about her conversation with God.
Dearest Lenore –
Yes – my darling daughter – you’ve understood. When I mention talking to God to you or any of the other kids I’m hoping to open the door to whatever kind of talk you or they feel ready for. Just remember – I promise never to put on a show, to lie or be “brave” for you. On the phone, in an e-mail, when we are alone or with people. this isn’t the time for that. Ask me anything. My answers may bring tears to your beautiful eyes but I don’t think they will make you sad.
We’ll write or talk more in the coming days and weeks. Heart to heart. I just realized what a beautiful expression that is. My heart to yours.
I love you Lenora. And because you are a mother too, you know how much.
She was happy, she is happy and she wants us to be happy.
We miss her, she misses us and still she wants us to be happy.
I know when I’m able to laugh at things when I talk about her, it makes her laugh too.
I hope she knows how hard I try to be happy more often than sad. I know if I don’t try, she’ll be sad.