Yesterday was Mom’s wake. I was touched by the volume of those who came to celebrate her life, and moved by the warmth they inspired on such a barren day. As many I spoke with mentioned lauralore.com, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for being a part of my mother’s life…I know she loved you all. I also wanted to thank those of you in cyberspace who sent flowers and cards…your generosity touched me, and I deeply inhaled the fragrance of life at your request.
Today, we have the funeral. Tomorrow, we get back to the business of living. I don’t know which will be more difficult. But for now, I leave you with this, the words that I will have read to Mom during the service today:
I debated whether or not I wanted to formally write something to you for this day…we’ve exchanged so many words over the years, and I still left our conversations feeling that there was a little more to say. I guess there will always be a little more to say, won’t there?
You taught me love, Mom. You taught me nurturing, and I was honored to have the opportunity to care for you during your illness. I didn’t know real love until our roles were reversed, and I was your guardian, your caretaker, and your protector. I didn’t know that love could hurt so sharply, and then reverse on you, cradling you in plushy warmth.
You’ve been my best friend. My husband left me last year…you know; you were there that day. We had just returned from the hospital to find a note. I was stunned, taciturn, and numb. You moved around me restlessly, organizing cupboards, folding laundry. “You have to tell me what you want me to do,” you directed. “I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to do.” You felt just as destroyed as I felt. I think our hearts must be linked.
My sentiments were echoed in the last month. I didn’t know how to help you; I didn’t know what to do. You were stern on the subject of my witnessing your death. You didn’t want me to see you like that. You wanted me shielded until the very end; you wanted even your last breath to be spent protecting me. It was difficult, the forcing myself away, but I did it…for you, always for you. My memories of you are of joyful laughter and tearful affection, and they are vivid in the murky dark of your absence. One day they will illuminate my days and I will always have the sun at my side, blanketing my life with your warm light.
You called us “kindred spirits”…and I believe we were—are: spirits never die. I learned from your feelings, and you professed to learn from my philosophies. We were caught in a continual mutual admiration, and words were simply unnecessary. Yes, there was always a little more to say…but our hearts spoke the words. Few people can grasp our connection, for few are so blessed. My life was made golden with yours…precious and invaluable. Strength was something we learned together, built together, and wielded together. I still feel you. You are holding my hand, and you are not letting go. My strength will not fail with yours so near. I love you, and I am keeping you alive in me. Have peace, and know no pain.