My favorite memory of my mother is...
This: How can I count this as an anniversary of pending death? For it seems like just yesterday you were teaching me to swim in the oceans at Jones Beach. Slathering Coppertone on my face as I writhed and ran away to play in the sand as you relaxed under the big umbrella before we walked along the shore. The shells and white rocks we collected filled my bucket so we could place them in our garden at home. The garden where you found so much peace from your hectic household duties. We would go out to the garden, you and I. You pulled the weeds, and planted vegetables and cut small snips of pansies, while I crawled on my belly under the azalea bushes where the lily of the valley grew. The little bells rang for me; I heard the song in their sweet fragrance as the wind gently blew. You were there, and I was safe and together we conquered the world! I travelled the roads around the roots of the Great Tree as you swept away the troubles that collected in front of our door. My small cars were neatly parked as I dug in the dirt around the Great Tree, finally resting against the powerful bark that surrounded its big heart. Between you and me, the world was a better place, at least the tree told me so, as the Life Force beat deep within its' old trunk. Your unconditional love and consistent presence in my early years gave me a sense of security, one which told me that the World is really a beautiful place. You planted the Seeds of Deep Faith in my Soul which have grown into the Great Tree, with strong roots that cannot be shaken by the storms of life. You have shown me the Serenity that comes from the Acceptance of things we cannot change. You have given me this and much more. It cannot already be a year! Or even 50! For when I look into your eyes, and hold your hand so close, the years, like lightening, shoot between us and we are united in a timeless dream. We await the veil that will fall between us, when you shed the beautiful body that birthed me and seven others. We are all hanging by a silken thread and none of us know our time, we muse. You worry how much longer? What if your time doesn't come? How much longer will it be? One long year in hospice and still we stand in the Unknown. I kid you and offer wild excursions up to Mt. Ranier and back again, brisk ferry rides and visits to beach shores with mountain views. You smile at the thought. Perhaps tomorrow, we'll get up and go, you tell me. Or perhaps, tomorrow the thread will be cut and the veil will be lowered. Perhaps. But whenever you slip through the Veil which separates us from this world and the next, I will hear the bells ring as the wind gently blows, and I will know you are safe in God's Hands. I will let go until we meet again! I love you, my Mother, my Friend!