Thursday, February 14, 2013

5 Years: Remembering My Mother

This Valentine's Day is the 5 year anniversary of my mom's death. With each year that passes, there is another level tier stage of grief. The thing about grief is that it is pretty impossible to define. The latest stage seems to be helping others in their grief, mostly through facebook. It's under unfortunate circumstances that I have been able to work through my grief in this way. There have been several friends of mine who have experienced the death of a parent during this past year, and it has provided me with another pathway for my own healing process to offer my condolences and (attempts at) advice for these hurting hearts.

I've been kind of teary so far today, and I don't remember it being as hard last year. I should know better than to compare one year against the other; grief does not follow rules of sense or logic. Grief often does not make sense. I don't think it's supposed to.

My mom was one who was always behind the camera lens, and preferred not to have her picture taken. I've been trying to figure out a way to have her represented in my home decor, seeing as how there really aren't any pictures to put in a frame. My sister went through some of her photos she took of the yard and divided them so we could each have some.

So pretty. I have a huge stack of many photos like these.
Considering her visitation was filled with photos she took of the yard and flowers, I started with that route. I picked out a small frame - all of these photos are 3x5's - and chose a pretty yellow day lily.

I think it's a good start. Ideally I would love to blow up a few of her photos and frame them in the house, Georgia O'Keefe style. Maybe not that huge, but big, like a focal point of a room.

She also loved citrus fruits and home grown tomatoes and gardening. Someday (if/when I have a kitchen with wall space, or maybe in the dining room) I want to frame and display images of her favorite produce items.

Lots of things remind me of her in my everyday life. Oranges. Lemons.  Tangerines. Tomatoes. Daylilies. Gardening. Yard work. Cats. Honeysuckle. Yellow. Brachs Orange slices candy. Lemon drops. Sun tea. Banana bread. Libraries. Star Trek. I remember many a Saturday night in the summers when my mom and dad would spend all day working in the yard and I would play outside. We would be out there until dark, come inside and get washed up, eat dinner and watch Star Trek. She also loved The X-Files. I have many fond memories of going to tree nurseries with my parents, driving down obscure highways in Lawrence with the windows down. And then of course, NASCAR and her favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt in the number 3 Goodwrench car. I remembered there was something about his birthday and looked it up. He was born exactly 4 days after my mom was born, and died exactly 4 days after my mom died (although it was 7 years sooner). Who would have thought.

It feels so odd to not have her here sometimes. Sometimes I think I will still get to see her, like she is just away on vacation. It sure doesn't feel like it has been 5 years.


Time for lunch. Girl Scout cookie arrival (FINALLY!!) + Valentine's chocolates = YUM. :)

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