It is 4:35 a.m., I have been up since 4 a.m. Don't ask me why I am up. It could be the fact that I may have eaten too much pizza and cookies and drank too much wine last night or it could be the Clomid (like how I blame everything on Clomid). But more likely it is the fact that today I will bury my mother. Yesterday I was not too much in the mood to blog about this one honestly. There is something that screams "pay attention to me, feel bad about me" when you blog how your mother died today. However, it is early and I got the urge. While this used to be considered a pure running blog (hey, remember when I talked about running? I ran yesterday, there I spoke about running, that counts right?), I have begun to use this blog as an outlet for multiple parts of my life. That may mean that no one cares to read this blog anymore, and that is O.K. too. Thus this morning I wish to write to you all (whoever you is) about my mother as a means to remember her. Additionally, I know that many friends and family members read my blog so hopefully those we did not get in contact with yesterday will see this - if you are one of those individuals and would like the funeral and shiva information, please contact me because I am still eh on broadcasting that live over the Internet.
My mother's death was not unexpected but it was a surprise. She struggled with Multiple Sclerosis for the majority of her adult life and in her final years she had lost most of her cognitive abilities. But one thing I have decided is not to focus on the disease. I learned a long time ago that one must separate the illness, disease, or disability from the person. So in honor of her life today when I think of my mother and when I speak this morning I will talk of the woman who was my mother and not of her illness unless to say that she fought MS with all the grace, courage, and smiles that I could ever imagine possible.
In the Jewish religion, you bury your loved ones and then you have 7 days of mourning. During those 7 days, referred to as a "shiva" you sit and remember your loved one. No matter what religion you may be a death is a time to a celebrate a life (just my opinion). It is a time to remember them and make certain they are not forgotten and that their memory lives on. In many ways, I do not have the same memories of my mother as others may have of their own. The illness took a lot of that from us. For those memories I do not have, I hope that this shiva is a time that people recount their memories of my mother to me. Having been to too many shivas already in my life, one of the things that I recall are the stories. I do not remember the grief I felt day in and out, but rather the love and support from people that arrived with stories in hand to tell us all who were grieving. It is these stories that I cling to, that I will carry with me forever. It is not easy to hear stories that make us sad and happy all at once, but it is what helps us remember and how we continue to grow and make those people a part of us. I know my mother will be a part of me. I know I will see her in dreams and still speak with her as I do to others that I have lost (only those who have lost can agree that this is not a crazy statement)....
Maybe tomorrow I will share my words to you all that I shared at the funeral. Or maybe i will just go back and finally talk more about running because that can be easier can't it? But for now I will share one trait of my mother, my favorite memory. It is not so much a memory as a characteristic trait. It was her smile. My mother lit up the room. She was a star. But it was more than just a smile. It was when she smiled, which was ALL the time. She smiled through thick and thin. She had a strong, courageous face on. The smile was her game face. And here I see her teaching me a lesson. To smile. To be strong no matter what comes my way. I have been struggling a bit lately if you have noticed. Unfortunately, it has taken these events to remind me of my mother's unspoken lesson - smile, stay strong, and the rest will follow.