March 27, 2017
Friday, March 24th, marked your one year of passing. Respectfully in your honor, Sierra, Keller and I drove to Dallas to have dinner with Hope and Dad at your favorite restaurant, The Outback, of course. It was such a blessing to be with Dad, Hope, Sierra, and Keller and reminisce with smiles on our faces and laughter in our hearts. What a difference a year makes. After dinner, the girls and Keller (what a trooper of a kid!) had a slumber party with matching jammies. We had so much fun together. You would be so happy to see how much closer we are this year than we were last; that’s all you ever wanted. Thank you for giving me two beautiful baby sisters to love, nurture and guide. They are my everything.
Saturday Hope got a new puppy; it’s super cute. Later in the afternoon your three girls got together and spread your ashes in a river near Hope’s house. I hope you heard the loving things we said about you – thanking you for giving us life, each other, a sense of humor, and teaching us to love. You were definitely there to give us one last laugh. As Hope went first to spread some of your ashes into the water, an unexpected gust of wind came and swirled your ashes around me and in my mouth, as if the ashes were forming the figure of a body coming in for one last hug. Mom, I ate you! Everyone was shocked yet laughing as they looked at me and saw their sister drenched from head to toe in your ashes, struggling to dust herself off while simultaneously coughing your ashes out. Hate to break it to you, but you tasted terrible. Keller cracked up the whole way home repeating, “I can’t believe you ate your Mom! I’m telling everyone!!! Aunt Cookie ate her Moooom, Aunt Cookie ate her Moooom,” he kept singing. That one goes down on the books as the strangest thing to ever happen to me. Thanks for that, um, final goodbye hug.
Mom, you were a very special woman and were so loved by your family and will forever live in our hearts. I’m sorry you felt lost in this world for so long. I want you to know that seeing your heavy struggle has given me the fight to find the light in myself and never lose it, live with purpose, be strong, be kind to myself (mind, body & spirit) and others, and be a selfless servant to people, living with my eyes open, feet grounded, ears listening and hands out, giving and receiving all that is. While this past year was a year of mourning, grieving the loss of both you and Randy’s father whom I dearly loved, it’s also been the most eye-opening year, a year of awakening. Sadness has been greater, but so too has joy. I live closer to my heart. I look at my reflection in the mirror and am different; I see more of you in me now than ever. I never thought I would say that. Do we all become our Mothers? What I previously despised in myself, as I fought to be nothing like you, I now graciously accept in myself and ask, “What good can I use this for? What would my Mother have looked like if she utilized this gift?” I want to blossom in any similarity, a rose on a thorny vine, to grow that part of You I always believed in inside myself so that I can share the gift; therefore, I am choosing to cherish our reflective similarities, love on them, and not hate them, not hate myself. In tragedy, there are always gifts, and I am forever thankful for the gifts you left behind, for the reflections of you that are now in me. May you rest in peace, Mom. I love you.