Monday, June 30, 2008


Today's the anniversary of my mom's death. She died in the hospital one year ago today. I remember it was pouring rain most of the days in June last year, and every day that we visited her in the hospital we brought our umbrellas.*

The day of the surgery they told us it went well. Maybe it did, but she didn't get better, only worse. One of the techs at the hospital who took her out of the room for some tests told us she'd tried to slap someone the day after the surgery, so we all thought she was improving. I feel like if I only knew what had gone wrong, that I'd feel better. Intellectually I do know that's not true.

I wish that I could talk about her without crying. Not because I'm ashamed of or mind the crying, but because it's so much harder to get out all the things that I feel I need to say about her and how much I loved her if I keep interrupting myself.

I used to ask her to tell me stories about her life before she had her four kids. Most of the time she'd say something about how it wasn't all that interesting, but she'd tell me a story anyway.

My dad found me reading one of her diaries a while back, and asked me why I felt the need to read them. It took me a little while to formulate the answer to that one, but now I know. I can't get her to tell me any more stories, and reading her words is a little like that. Being able to listen to her stories again.

Anyway, if I believed in the afterlife I might take comfort in that thing people like to say to you after someone you love has died. You know, "She's in a better place, she's looking down at you now." But I don't.

My mother's legacy exists in the people that she touched, and the children that she raised. And we're all good, because of her. We're good, and I'm glad that she knew that we loved her.

*If you know anything about North Texas in the summertime, you know the odds of rain for the entire month of June. It even rained on the 4th of July last year.

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