Here it is, another of those "anniversaries" that you don't celebrate, and yet don't ever forget.
My Mom died of cancer three years ago today, and, while, as I've always said, it never gets easier, it does somehow get better.
As a child, we believe all sorts of things. We believe bunny rabbits sneak into our houses and leave money under our pillows in an exchange for an old tooth; we believe reindeer fly and an old guy in a red suit can come down your chimney--even if you don't have a chimney--bearing gifts.
And we believe our parents will live forever.
But as we grow, we learn the truth about bunnies with coins, and Santa Claus. We realize that many of our childhood wishes and dreams are just that, wishes and dreams, but, somehow, we still believe our parents will live forever.
And they don't.
I sit in my kitchen and I can picture my Mom across the kitchen table from me even though she never saw this house. If I hear a funny joke I hear her laughter. When I'm making dinner for Carlos and me, and I make enough to feed a family of ten, I think of my Mom and how she always made extra for leftovers.
Leftover memories, but no new ones. And that's the scary part. I'll have no new memories of my Mom. So, today, especially, I'll remember the good memories of my Mom.
I'll remember how she ended every phone call with Bye bye sweetie, I love you.
I'll remember her smile. and her laugh. And how she'd say, in mock surprise, Bobby! every time I said or did something crazy.,
I'll remember the time she died her hair platinum blond and I thought she was the most beautiful woman on earth.
And I'll remember her with no hair, undergoing cancer treatment and still thinking she was the most beautiful woman on earth.
I'll remember being in school on a cold rainy day and knowing that Mom would be home making Clam Chowder. The best chowder ever.
I'll remember my Mom pushing a snowblower around the deck at their house in Blue Canyon.
I'll remember coffee and crossword puzzles. Housecoats.
I'll remember our Day After Awards Show phone calls when we'd compare notes over who won, who wore what, and who we liked and didn't like.
I'll remember how she loved to paint, and how we have some of her work in our house now, and how proud I feel when people say they like it.
I'll remember how she welcomed Carlos into the family like he'd been there all along.
I'll remember how much she loved my Dad, and her kids, and her friends, and her dogs.
I'll remember Thanksgiving, with Mom doing all the cooking, and how much she loved doing that for her family and friends.
I'll remember being there on that day, three years ago, when she left us, and feeling grateful to have had her for as I long as I did, and feeling loved, and feeling happy that she was peaceful again.
I'll just remember.