My mother died last week after being diagnosed with cancer in February. She outlived her father by one year and two months. She outlived her mother by 9 months. She was 59. And now she’s gone.
Like many children of divorce who grew up in the 80s the relationship I have with my parents is complicated. For reasons, it was sometimes very complicated and messy with my mother. But I loved her. Fiercely.
My mother was beautiful. I suspect most daughters think that about their mothers but I’m telling you, objectively, my mother was very beautiful. It’s actually kind of hard to have a beautiful mother. Your awkward and gawky years are even more awkward and gawky when compared to her beauty. But then again you kind of swell with pride when people notice that your mother is beautiful. At least I did, as you can see for yourself.
My mother was funny and she had a great laugh. Her sense of humor was a little dark, a little twisted. Of all the gifts I ever gave her I think her favorite was a pair of earrings in which (wooden) human legs were dangling from a shark’s mouth, the head and torso ostensibly having already been consumed. She’d jingle the legs and laugh hysterically.
My mother loved dogs. At the time of her death she had three, all rescues, who are very good dogs Brent. They are just the latest in a long line of rescues and strays who found the best home they could ever imagine with her.
When I was little my mom took me to see The Fox and the Hound and forever after anytime a hound dog was mentioned she’d say “I’m a hound dog” like so:
Her favorite movies were It’s a Wonderful Life, Overboard and Romancing the Stone. I had a fantasy of renting out an entire theater just for a screening of Overboard for her. She didn’t go out to the movies much but she would have loved that. I honestly thought I’d do that for her one day. See, for as much as I’m a pessimist and expect bad things to happen I never expected my mother to die young. I assumed we’d be old women together (she’s only 19 years older than me after all) and that I’d be able to afford the grand gesture someday.
Some days I make it hours before I remember that my mother is really gone. Other days, from the instant I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, it’s all I can think of. To be honest I’m not sure how to do this whole grieving thing. I’ve had loved ones die before but never quite like this. And of course I have Jewish mourning rituals to follow. But I’m finding grief to be very powerful, very odd and very unpredictable. So I guess I’m just going to have to figure this out as I go along.