Ok, snuggle in for some navel gazing. If you hold your iPad low enough you can gaze at yours while you read about mine.
Tomorrow at 4:23pm, it will be 11 years since you died.
I have learned so much since then.
I have learned that your life was cut too short for your family, but it was long enough when compared to younger lives lost. Your mission was unfinished but close enough; others never got to start theirs or, if started, they may only receive posthumous accolades.
You had a good life; you said so before you died. You had more life in those years than many who outlived you. And as Cousin Ricky said, life is not linear.
Still, I need you even more now than when you died.
Because life is so complicated.
And no one can replace you.
Still, I do have some perspective, I guess.
POB says I should be a type of doula — you know the person who is like a baby nurse but doesn’t let you get sleep or really do anything other than coach you through it.
She says I should be a death/illness doula.
Because I have life experience. I know how to make it in and out of a funeral home in less than two hours, including buying the coffin and burial plot(s). I know when to tell a mourner to stop eating during shiva because she/he will forever associate the dearly departed with weight gain. I know when someone is making a stupid decision and I won’t hold back. I have called a bad situation “toxic” and started decontamination procedures. And I have kept the scary relatives at bay while the mourners are composing themselves.
So, your death, and Cousin Ricky’s and Aunt Betty’s and AROB’s and ULOB’s and Dad’s brain injury, gave me strength to handle bad situations. Not all of them. I still turn away sometimes.
In 11 years, so much has changed. Your grandsons are young men. Your children are middle-aged. Your husband is, well, less than he was.
And yet so much is still the same: Part of me still wonders why my mother was taken away. And parts of SOB and BOB wonder the same.
I love you, Mom.