*March 12th will mark the one year anniversary of my Mom's death. In an effort to avoid my usual "milestone approaching" behavior of hiding in bed and eating lots of carbs, I'm celebrating the 12 Days of Mom. As a part of my celebration, I will be writing one of my favorite memories about Mom here each day. These are random tidbits of all the awesome that was my Mom. I'll think you'll like reading more about her. If you're new to reading my blog, proceed with caution. You will find lots of casual writing fraught with grammatical errors. I serve as editor-in-chief around here, which would make any of my high school English teachers shudder.
Well, here we are. Day 12. Can I tell you something? I have no idea how to close this deal out. When I started, I didn't really think about what it would look like to finish. (Welcome to all of my life...) I suppose in my mind I imagined twelve neat and tidy stories with the last one wrapping everything up nicely. This process, for me, has been anything but neat and tidy. I'm a big ol' giant mess currently. And finishing this series just reinforces the whole finality of the whole thing. I mean, I know I can write stories about her whenever I want. I know I can think about her and talk about her whenever I want. But passing that dreaded "year" mark did not bring the relief I was hoping for at all. It is a difficult thing knowing I will face this hole in my life for the rest of my life.
Also, I know all of these stories have painted an amazing picture of my Mom. I meant for it to be that way. Did Mom have flaws? Of course. Did we always get along in an amazing way? Of course not. I thought long and hard about writing these stories. I want to live my life and write about my life in a real way. No single person out there is looking to see more things they are not living up to. I surely hope none of these stories has made you feel that way. Mom would not approve!! At the same time, I decided if you get terminal cancer and pass away before you're sixty, then we get to talk about only the best parts of you! Sometime I hope to share all of Mom's story. It is a story full of hope and grace. Mom's life was not easy, not for even one single day. That's honest truth. But, I have never known anyone who fought harder for joy and love.
One of the reasons I was (am) so angry at her cancer is because it seemed like her life was on the up-tick for the first time in a while. It felt like a corner had been turned. That maybe her final chapter would be an easy one. Instead, her final days were lived out in one of the hardest ways possible. I'm still working on reconciling all of that in my heart. It's a dirty job.
I'm putting my hope in the fact that she is sporting one hell of a crown.
I'm all out of words. So, I leave you with a list of things that I will forever remember about Mom.
1. Bananas with milk and sugar
2. Clover flower necklaces
3. Her "neapolitan" bathrobe
4. How she was a morning person
5. The song she sang to us when it was time to go to church (which, by the way, was all the time!)
6. The one time she stopped answering to Mom and would only answer to Shelia (not her name) because she couldn't handle hearing "Mom" another single time.
7. The summer fun schedule she made out each year during summer break.
8. Her love of bread dough. Raw.
9. Her lap
10. Her love