I WAS SPEAKING to First Reader about love and loss and how to properly remember someone, something that’s been weighing me as we approached this Mother’s Day and my mother is no longer with us. Her death is like the phantom pain of a missing limb.
Now I’ve unexpectedly lost a dear friend, a friend Mama loved and took great delight in. My friend, much like Mama, would want us to remember the fun, funny, often goofy thins we did together. My friend drove up from San Antonio dressed like a shark, brought a shark suit for me, to celebrate Shark Week by heading down to see my mama and my sister in Sugar Land.
On our first stop, a waiter (who was so delighted he wanted his picture taken with us) said, “Y’all do know Shark Week is next week, right?”
Kim looked it up on her phone, and sure enough, we were a week early. We both looked at each other, then started pointing our fins at each other, shrieking with laughter. Not only had we gotten the wrong date, everyone knew we were dorks.
If you’re going to go in, go all in. Make a big splash or go home.
We weren’t going to let a little thing like actual dates and times (and sometimes facts) get in our way.
These two women, Mama and my friend Kim were two of the strongest, kindest women I’ve ever known. And they, along with another friend who invited me into her family, gave me the strength to move on with my life. To make it better. That kindness and laughter will get you through.
Mama used to tell me me no matter where I was in the country, when I smelled the scent of roses, she’s near. And now that scent will also remind me of my funny, lovely friend Kim.
And as I’m looking out of the window of my new home, I’m greeted with a great wall of roses. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I honored both of their gentle spirits today by buying two bouquets of roses–one red , for Kim, one purple, for my mother.
And then I gave them to total strangers. One of these strangers actually broke down into tears. I gave her a hug, told her “Happy Mother’s Day.”
I think they’d have liked that.