I'm trying to embrace whatever emotion I have in an effort to feel this fully. I hadn't realize how actively I have avoided so much, until this last week with her.
I didn't want to see her suffering. I didn't want to see her body diminish. I didn't want to see her "gone", just a shell of who she was. I didn't want to see her after she died.
I saw all of that, and I'm still standing. I'm a little ashamed that I wasn't willing to see it through in the first place. The change after she died still just blows me away. She looked so incredibly beautiful. It felt like a gift to be able to see her that way at last.
I am so grateful for this blog and some of the memories it holds of my mom. I had my blog posts emailed to her for probably the last 2-3 years and she would often email a response to me after reading one of my posts. I read through several of those emails last night. She was always cheering me on, or giving sympathy for whatever I was dealing with, in those emails.
I have so much I hope to document and pontificate on, soon. For now, there's work to be done.
I turned the comments off on my last post because I struggle with feeling like I'm having a pity party. I know that wasn't very nice of me though. I'm leaving comments on, but I have a request in the comments. If you would like to leave one, leave a favorite story of my mom or a memory of her, if you know her in person. I love reading what people are writing on Facebook, or have told me in person. Her children have known well what an incredible woman she was in her life, but I don't think we'll ever tire of hearing about it from others.
I am going to cut and paste part of an old blog post from November of 2006, the first year I blogged. One of my favorite posts about my mom....
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Funny As a child, in my home, being funny was the prize to be won. Being the funniest was the ultimate goal. There are some VERY funny people in my family. It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I realized we got every ounce of our "Smith Humor" from my mother. My dad can't even tell a scripted joke to save his soul. And sometimes he'll try a pun and laugh and laugh before he can say it and when he does, you wish desperately that you could have gone the rest of your life never hearing it, it's so bad. One of the funniest things my brothers have done, is imitate my father telling a joke. Now, THAT'S funny. My mom was my mom. She wasn't funny. She was the one who told us to get to bed, do our homework, take out the trash, not go out of the house in dirty underwear, how no one likes an know-it-all, etc. It wasn't in her job description to be funny. So, I never noticed.
Well, a couple of days ago my friend Epsi sent me an email that made me laugh heartily. Of course, I immediately forwarded it to a dozen more people, as though I were the creative genius behind it.
The email read: ATTENTION: ALIENS ARE COMING TO ABDUCT ALL THE GOOD LOOKING AND SEXY PEOPLE. YOU WILL BE SAFE; I'M JUST EMAILING TO SAY GOODBYE.
The responses I have gotten have all made me laugh.
And then my mother. She's 71. Shouldn't she have a diminished capacity by now? Of any kind? I mean, she can still peel and chop a carrot faster than I can do the same with a cuisanart. She can whip through 17 loads of laundry in one day and make it look like she barely handwashed some delicates and hung them to dry. She can find anything you need at any time for any purpose. Usually in her purse or tied to a string in her kitchen. She can make a pair of SAS shoes, hot pink pants, hot pink turtle neck with purple cardigan, and 3 chained eyeglasses around her neck look way cuter than I could ever try to be.
Above all, she's still the cleverest of them all.
Her response to my email:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: THIS E-MAIL WAS UNDELIVERABLE. THE RECEIPIENT IS EVIDENTLY NO LONGER ON THIS PLANET. SORRY (YOU'RE LATE----ABDUCTIONS ARE OVER)
I made the mistake of telling my mom on the phone, "Your response took the cake, Mom." She gloated aloud and then bragged to my sister who was sitting nearby. I heard my sister swear and I knew my mom was in gloaters gloating heaven because she didn't even scold her.
But I will. S, watch your mouth. At least you have potential for when you're 71.