Sometimes when I can’t sleep I go out and drive around, listening to music, until my mind fades, ridding itself of the days troubles and I can return home, my pups waiting for me, the whir of the fan already spinning and fall into bed. Tonight was one of those nights.
I went out with the intention of mailing several bills when I started listening to this song I recently heard and loved, “Highway 20 Ride” by the Zac Brown Band. I’m not really sure what it was about tonight, but I started thinking about my mom and realized that in exactly three weeks, it would be the 2 year anniversary of her death. I don’t find myself crying much these days over her death because I think I’ve learned a lot from her passing and mostly, well, I think she would want me to live my life and have as much fun and purpose as possible. But from time to time, I allow myself to have moments where I just unleash my emotions and let them flood, which is what I practice in grief therapy, to allow yourself moments which are right for you, not dictated by others, but not to allow yourself to become consumed by grief and loss. Yes, each person should grieve at their own rate, but at some time it’s important to realize we are here but for a short time and learn from that person’s life.
My mom would have wanted that, I am sure. She was such a wise person and taught me so many things that it is understandable that the greatest lessons I have learned in life, I learned in the wake of her death. Do not let any day go by unappreciated. Life is much shorter than we ever believed and before you know it your 40 and then 60 and then, hopefully, 80 and then boom! Be kind to others and enjoy every small detail. Ahhhh…I wish I could say that I practiced these constantly every day, but the truth is that I am a continuing student of these principles.
Nonetheless, I found myself driving around, listening to this song over and over again, tears flooding down my face. I thought about how when someone is gone, you can’t explain how they really were to someone who never knew them. You can show them pictures or videos, but the small things are impossible. And I think that’s what makes me so sad that she’s gone. She was such a vibrant soul, with so much wisdom. She taught me so many things.
She taught me to have impeccable table manners because people do care. She taught me to have a favorite author and have read everything by that author. She felt the same about movies and actors or directors. Woody Allen was her favorite. She taught me to re-read “Catcher in the Rye” every year, typically in the fall. She always believed it didn’t matter if you were a terrible cook but you should have a few meals you were excellent at that were obscure. Hers were deviled eggs, orange bread, chicken curry and raw apple muffins. She could not bake a cookie to save her life. She said she liked the burnt ones, and then she would laugh. She believed women should always look their best and that you could scrimp on clothing and jewelry but always spend money on underwear. She loved Victoria Secret. She would eat fruit, especially oranges, very slowly and told me to enjoy every bit of juice. She believed caramel corn and chewing gum were food of the gods. She believed everyone should have a theme song and hers was “Chimes of Freedom” by Bob Dylan. She taught me…she taught me to always remember your past and the people you loved in the past and never have any regrets. “Life is Life. It is what it is.” She would say. And smile, telling me to always remember all of the past friends and romances I had ever had because they defined me. Ain’t that the truth
And so tonight, I guess I just wanted to think about her for a bit, feel her presence around me and remember what she was like. And I wish that you all could have met her and felt one of her hugs, smelling the amazing perfume she always wore. She would have made you laugh…so laugh, love and have a favorite candy…because we’re on borrowed time as it is! Enjoy!