An ode to my mother, for all those who still have theirs

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She preserved our whole history as if it were a precious quilt, patching together stages with saved artwork and valentines, pictures and notes, bits and pieces, photographs of a lifetime of memories keeping the sprawling bolt of fabric growing. When that primal and ancient connection of memories and bits was cut I was paralyzed for about a minute, having to spring into action and really take the helm. She grew on me and in me as the distinction of selves sometimes became blurred. We shared a heart.

She went through plenty with the three of us, but in spite of ourselves she always thought we were the best thing since sliced bread. She wasn’t the type of mother to coo when we stumbled, she was more the “snap out of it” kind of mom. She was logical, intuitive, smart, delving, thorough, down-to-earth and sometimes too honest to suit us, but she was usually pretty much right on the mark with her wisdom and advice.

She was such a creative talented force — not just visually through her painting and photography but also in all her relationships and a lifetime of friends. She adored her friends and as she used to say “they keep ya going till suppa!” She had such a forge-ahead-and-conquer-the-world kind of attitude, a life-is-so-interesting kind of attitude, that anyone who spent any time with her knows how contagious it was. That’s why we all loved her so much. She led the way.

During our last year or so together we had a chance to spend a lot of time with each other. She needed me to lead the way for her, as she finally gave in to the fact that she couldn’t do it all by herself anymore. We both knew that she was drifting away mentally, and it was so hard for both of us to get through. But in our usual style we joked about it everyday.

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