As I write this, I am reveling in the awesome fact that my mother would have been 95 as of this day. Wow! What life was like that many years ago! In her honor, I am wearing my favorite skirt, which she happened to have bought me nearly 30 years ago. I am wearing a necklace of hers and I’ve a couple of my favorite photos of her here by my computer.
While I didn’t go out and purchase her favorite tea, Constant Comment, I did have an extra large cup of my preferred flavor this morning. I shall surely have a piece of chocolate something and perhaps even hot cocoa this evening all in her honor (aw shucks!) I will read a little more — she consumed the printed word voraciously — and learn a new word or concept (she used to have us look in the dictionary regularly to find a new word and use it in a sentence). I will look with awe at the world. Wait, I do that anyway. Thanks for that gift, mom.
When I worked at the radio station here, we paid homage to many artists. My preference was always to do so on the day of their birth rather than their passing on as many folks do. To me, that final date, while inevitable, evokes more of a sense of loss. (In the case of my mother, her death came on my son’s 10th birthday … which would you choose to celebrate?) I liked to commend them for making it into this world and making their mark in all our lives.
And so I do for my mom. I give thanks for the gift of gab, of curiosity, gratitude and optimism, of fortitude for overcoming what is hard, laughing easily, especially at myself. While some lessons/gifts would not reveal themselves to me until well into adulthood and some even after she was gone, I do not take them for granted.
While I strive for “no regrets,” it’s hard not to have them — a missed opportunity to videotape her singing all the millions of songs she constantly sang, reading children’s books to the kids, etc. — or simply spending more time with her, period. That’s the big HELLO! that comes when you can’t ask them a question to their face any more.
I so appreciate those who create beautiful shrines to honor the lives of loved ones (not so much the deaths! I consider Dia de Los Muertos a blessing on their path, not pity for ourselves for our loss). My curio cabinet is my space for sacred little memories of her, my children and others as well as pets and other places I have loved. While I wish it were somewhat more artistic, meh, it makes me happy and that is all that matters.
While you may still be grieving as I am on this day, knowing how lucky I am that she did find her way onto this planet on this day, changes my focus from total loss to contemplative. On someone’s birthday, wear a silly hat, eat their favorite food and recall stories to yourself or a sibling or someone else close to her. Go outside and feel their energy, their presence, not your own energy of sorrow bottled up within four walls.
They are not gone, only up in the box seats for a better view of what’s going on here. We are all energy, and energy never ceases to exist, it only takes on a new form, and that form is all around us in the nature of the trees and the butterflies, the ocean, the neighbor’s new baby and everything else that is alive. Breathe in and let it open you up.
Happy Birthday, Mom.