My mom was no ordinary mom. I think sometimes she wanted to be ordinary, she wanted to blend in, but that wasn’t how God made her. She was tall, she was an extrovert, she followed her heart, she spoke her mind.
She taught me so many things, but three were most important: to laugh, to listen, and to love.
Mom had a crazy sense of humor. I remember one April Fool’s Day I watched her pour cat food into the cat’s dish. She said, “You know, this actually looks pretty good,” shook some in her hand, and ate it. It turned out it was a new cereal that she had noticed looked a lot like cat food. She had put the bag inside an empty box of Friskies.
Back in July, mom was hospitalized for three days. A few days after she was discharged, a nurse called to follow up. My mom was in the bathroom and so I answered and started talking for her. Figuring the nurse would want to talk with her directly, I handed her the phone when she came out .
The first thing she said - and mind you, she knew this was a stranger - was "Help! Help! They've got me tied up in a closet and they're not feeding me."
A week or so before she died, we were talking about how everyone has something at their core. Mom said she realized hers was to listen. She made friends everywhere she went, and it didn’t matter if they were young or old or homeless or rich. She loved meeting new people. A few months ago we went for a walk in the Eastwood Cemetery. She was so weak that she only made it a few feet inside the entrance. But then a young woman she had never talked to walked by. And of course Mom perked up and said hello and learned all about her. It completely rejuvenated her.
And finally, Mom was all about God and about love. And for her the two were the same. When I go back and look in my emails, there are dozens from her that have the word “love” in the subject line. She said love is the only thing, that love is all there is and that’s plenty.
I’m going to try to be more like mom - to laugh more, listen more, and love more.