Wednesday, December 2, 2009
It's my mother's birthday today. She wouldn't want me to talk about how old she would be. She never liked being "old". She died over 5 years ago, and how I miss the opportunity to grow old alongside her. She still had so much life to live. We often struggled with our relationship - two stubborn women who could never quite admit the other could be right. And I am more like her than I am willing to admit. I even see her face in my mirror now.
Like her tight-lipped English family, my mother held secrets closely and kept emotions under wraps. Like emotions, sickness was a sign of weakness. We are strong, hearty, invincible, tough, independent and silent. So many times I just wished she would TALK to me, I mean really talk to me, as an adult and a human being and someone she loved. Well, she rarely actually said so. Those were hard words for her. I vow to never withhold the words, I Love You, from my child.
But I'm not here to castigate her, rather to offer my tribute.
She raised four children, and, after my father died at a very young age, was the sole support for my youngest sister. She made a career and continued to work until the sickness overtook her. She was an extremely important part of her family, and remained close to her siblings and parents. Never did she lose the connection to "home", and made sure that all of us were connected to her family and her home. She cared for her mother-in-law, with whom she had a difficult relationship, and other aging relatives. The outdoors and nature were deeply embedded in her being, and she passed that along to all her children. She was a simple person, who taught us to live simply. Long before it was fashionable, she was recycling, reusing and composting. Animals found a soft spot in her heart, especially those in distress, and she was never without her beloved dogs and cats. Never was she happier than walking the sagebrush-covered hills in Ash Valley or the Sierra foothills.
I loved my mother and I miss her terribly. I wish I could tell her.