“Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ~Ambrose Bierce
Part 1 – Funerals
Last week my aunt Pat died. It was sudden, shocking and very sad. She was my mother’s brother, Uncle Steve’s wife. He died 2 1/2 years ago and though Aunt Pat’s passing is sad, we’re very happy the two of them are together now.
But I breathe a big sigh! This was the 9th* funeral I have been to in 2 1/2 years.
This means that I’ve heard a lot of eulogies, obituaries, and tributes. For some time now my mind has been meandering around the fact that so much good–if not ONLY the good–is said about the loved ones at funerals. And I ask…
Why is it so hard to say those good things to people while they are living? The way I see it, socially, we are a people of cynicism and sarcasm which doesn’t mesh well with acceptance and sincerity. It’s intimacy with people that we as humans crave the most and equally fear the most.
So it is that I begin a little project within my Small Choices project. I’m going to write a brief tribute about each of my immediate family members on or around their birthday.
I hope that somewhere along my life line I’ve said at least one or two of these sentiments to my fam in person. If not, I apologize and promise to speak up before it comes down to a eulogy setting. For now, the written word is where it’s at for me. You see, I’m not being hypocritical here; it’s just as difficult for me to verbalize my feelings as the next guy (maybe more than). This might be due to the fact that I am the biggest cry baby in the land–this means I avoid crying if I can.
First one up? Mom.
Part 2 – July 22 – Happy Birthday, Mom!
My Earliest Memories of You:
Singing me lullabies while holding me in the creaky rocking chair. Reading Winnie the Pooh to me while lying on your water bed. Letting me wind up your 20 music boxes so they all play at the same time. Lying on the floor by your bed side when I was scared or sick.
My Fondest Memories:
As a Child – Helping me with my book reports. Long conversations on car rides. Occasionally waiting to go shopping until I got home from school because you knew I loved to go with you. Taking me clothes shopping, to family occasions, and to the Shakespearean Festival at age 10 all while being excited that I was excited. Watching you rewind VHS movies over and over to memorize the words to songs from musicals you loved.
As an Adult – The excitement you have whenever you see me after not seeing me. Hawaii; almost getting our cameras washed away; walking the evenings on Waikiki beach; posing for pictures in front of the Moana. Living with us to be a nanny for three months. Catching you cheat in EVERY game you play.
Things That Might Have Rubbed Off on Me:
Love of movies, music, Jane Eyre, art and appreciation for all things travel. Attention span. Being a night owl. Love of naps. Time optimistic. Tenacity for details and research–you don’t stop until you figure something out. Desire to make your mark on people–please them, help them, teach them.
What I Admire Most About You:
Your love for your family. Your vast library of knowledge in anything you have an interest in, which is a LOT of things! You don’t do things with half your heart–work project, decorating a wedding, shopping for someone’s birthday, dropping everything to be there, showing or telling someone that you care for and appreciate them, and giving of yourself to your family.
Love you, Mom!