But if you're expecting a serious reflective post right now, feel free to turn back, because that's not what this is. I've cried a thousand tears and mourned privately, maybe harder than I've ever mourned before. And now it's time to heal. For me, laughter brings healing and no one understood that better than my mom. She absolutely loved to laugh and had a delightfully inappropriate sense of humor. So in her honor, I'm gonna start the healing for myself right now, find the humor in sadness, and in the process, make her proud.
Speaking of making her proud, so many times over the course of these 2 weeks, I found myself remarking to my family, "Mom would be so proud right now."
She would've been proud.
On the morning she died, I woke to a voice-to-text message from my dad. Had I listened to the voicemail first, I would have heard him say that my mom is in heaven now. But I read the text translation first, which said that my mom is in the oven now. So in a disturbing sort of way, it kind of acted like an ice breaker, cuz heaven is way better than the oven when you stop and think about it. She would've laughed. It made me laugh, too.
And she would be proud.
I spent 3 hours in my pajamas crying over my computer keyboard as I tried to sum up my mom's life in obituary form. And then I ate a whole pizza by myself, because it seemed like the right thing to do. And she was always a fan of "the right thing to do." She would be proud.
I refused to cut her obituary short, but my sisters and I also refused to pay the $10.80 cents per line that the newspaper charges, because our mom never condoned highway robbery. So her obituary is now partially listed on roughly 7 different memorial sites that claimed to be free, and then they'd ask for our credit card number because the "free" only lasted for 14 days, so we'd abort mission and move onto the next site, until we finally ended up posting it as a facebook status. She would be proud.
I didn't cancel any of my Zumba classes that week, because:
1. Music speaks to my soul
2. So does sexy dancing cardio
3. In light of my newfound 'if-you-don't-cut-something-into-slices-it's-considered-a-single-serving' philosophy, life needs to go on...and unfortunately for everybody, so do pants.
She would be proud.
My younger sister and her family came over for dinner and we planted "Mamaw trees" at the end of our driveway. None of us have ever planted trees before. We're on day 11 and both trees are still standing upright.
She would be proud.
If at any point a tree tips over, I'll imagine her boisterous laugh in my head, and know that she would still be proud.
I served biscuits with dinner that night and periodically a clump of dry bitter baking powder would burst into my mouth when I took a bite. She would be proud.
I didn't accidentally use baking soda in my biscuits, a mix-up she was notorious for. Let's be honest here...she would be slightly disappointed I didn't inherit that super-fun-at-dinner-parties trait.
My dad and older sister held my mom's memorial service in Texas yesterday. I didn't attend. Instead, my younger sister and I hosted a balloon launch and family get-together last Sunday in her honor. We each feel the void in our lives, everyone mourns differently, and I'm deeply grateful that all of my family members understand and respect each other's need to say goodbye in our own way. She would too. And she would be proud.
Someone I barely know, who was also planning on attending the service in Texas, approached me at our balloon launch and excitedly said, "I can't wait to get up and talk about your mom during the service next Saturday." I wasn't sure a live mic was going to be a thing, so I messaged my niece to warn her...*flash to her 6'5, 300lb husband in a suit with an earpiece in his ear and the visible bulge of a gun on his thigh guarding the microphone from hijackers...* My mom would be SO proud.
Speaking of my niece's husband, during the service at the Baptist Church full of old people, he explained about the toilet my mom kept in her front yard and used as a flower pot. She would definitely be proud. But he saved the pooping her pants at a Chinese buffet and all of the stories involving profanity for the private brunch afterward with family. Dammit, man. We're supposed to be making her proud.
It's been 2 weeks. I'm still mourning. And I'm laughing. And I'm crying. And of course dancing, because, you know...cardio. Basically, my emotions have turned into a day in the life of Ecclesiastes 3. It's a fun ride for one and all.
But at the end of each day, when it's all said and done, I hold on to the things I know to be true:
I miss her. I know where she is. Our family is here for each other.
And there's no question in my mind...she would be proud.
I love you, Mom.