She is all around me, in the very fabric of my life, and I’m happy for the tangible ways I can remember her as I navigate Mother’s Day, and every day.
I see my mother in the seasons, as tender shoots of perennials curl up out of the ground from a winter’s sleep, and also in the magical silence of a late-night snowfall. In the chatter of birds in the peace of dusk and dawn, and in church music and wind chimes, in sea air and fresh cut grass.
I share her love of the outdoors, the perfection of a smoothly made bed, and the tendency to become preoccupied while cooking dinner. Fire!
She is the unbearably soft breeze, and the white butterfly in the yard. She is fresh linen for the table, and sharp creases in slacks. It’s her face I see now when I peer in the mirror, and her hands as I dig in the ground, stroke piano keys, or soothe a child.
In many ways, my mother and I were the same person, one completing the other, yet as different as two people can be. I never questioned as a girl that I would always have her. My defender and my lifeline. My dearest, closest friend.
Yes, she could be difficult, as we all are sometimes. But that no longer matters. What does is that she gave love, shared wisdom and passion, opened her heart and home to many, and taught, in her eventual, glorious imperfection, what it means to be fully human.
Tears still come without invitation in the opening notes of Chopin, at show tunes once sung with family and friends, and the gilded sunsets I wish I could share. I wondered when she left how it would be possible to go on. And yet, I do. And I will. I do it for her, and what her life stood for, and her memory keeps me strong.