This is only a small sampling of feelings and thoughts about my mom. How can you really “sum up” a life?
My mom showed me that a person can become
That The person you are at the beginning of your life is just the start
And the way you end depends on what you are willing to pick up and what you are willing to lay down
She taught me to see the very best in people even when I only wanted to see the bad
She taught me that dance parties are best when the music is very very loud
Her love for Anita Baker taught me that I did not love Anita Baker.
My mom taught me that driving with the windows all the way down is the best way to drive, she also taught me how to drive and that in itself is not a good way to drive.
She taught me to be tender to those with nothing left and to never turn away from a wounded heart.
She showed me that caring for the least of society is the most powerful and beautiful way to make the world better.
She showed me that when it comes to loving people, you have to love ALL of them…even the parts of them that suck
She taught me that homemade desserts rarely require a recipe and that you can blame anything burnt on a finicky oven.
She taught me to invite everyone over for thanksgiving….the Chinese family that didn’t speak English, the cashier at Walmart, and even your Vietnamese nail guy who doesn’t even celebrate thanksgiving.
She was an includer
She was an inviter
She wanted everyone to come together
She made moments
She made memories
She showed me how to believe for people when they couldn’t believe in themselves and in that how to encourage them and champion them along the way.
She taught me that generosity is the best kind of currency
She taught me that you can become a better version of yourself, You can see what’s broken and messy and dysfunctional and find a new way to live.
And always always always that new way to live was found in Jesus. Like all of us she was not perfect and she failed, she was broken, she was messy and she was dysfunctional, but she would lay those things down and pick up her love for God and try again.
My mother evolved
I have seen her come to the end of herself and still she chose God, she chose life and she chose to try again.
For many years, many decades i was unable to see all of these things. All the beauty in my mom. I held her hostage in shackles of unforgiveness. I could not see past my own dysfunction, my brokenness and mess to see her. But I see her now
The last 5 years stripped away my calluses and I was able to begin to see how bright she truly was. How determined she was to finish this life by living it as fully as she possible could. She would have chemotherapy and then go to the airport to see her friends and family. She did not let the fact that she was dying inhibit her from living.
She taught me that showing up is the only thing that matters, you don’t have to have the answers you just have to be available….although she thought she did have all the answers.
She taught me that being extravagant and ridiculous is the funest way to do anything
and if you find a fabulous jacket that would be completely inappropriate to wear at your local thrift store you should totally buy it and then make your friends wear it.
With all of her that ached
And in all the ways she suffered in the end, nothing could make her come alive more than seeing her grandkids.
My mother was at the birth of all of her grandchildren except one….my daughter Birdie. But in the most perfect way Birdie was there for my moms entrance into eternity. I am comforted by knowing that they are holding each other and having adventures that far surpass the ones either of them had on earth.
At the end of her life she kept asking to go home. She wanted to see Papa, talk to Holly and hold Birdie.
I watched her leave this earth filled with a room full of people who loved her and as she took her last breath I cannot imagine how excited she was when she took her first look at the room she entered. And I’m sure she wondered if she was wearing lipstick