We are not the stuff of our lives . . . we are the love that one sees in our eyes. Even so, it is the little bits that are left behind that pull a love straight up into the forefront of one's heart just when one thinks it has faded and gone. . . . my mom . . . without her three years now . . . if you are as sentimental a soul as I am . . . then read the words of this forever child to her mom . . .
. . . with all of the drama in the past three years and the unraveling of my life, I don't think I ever got a chance to properly mourn your passing to the next life, but I am feeling it today like there is an unquenchable ocean of tears in my eyes. These are the little bits I have of you . . . a bracelet from Italy that I cherished as a child and which you gave me many years ago knowing how I loved it so, and the little vases that my dad also brought to you from Italy. And these rings . . . the rings that you wore every day of your life since you were nineteen years old that signified that you were the one cherished by your one and only love, my dad. You wore them through your last day of breath . . . then they became mine. I wear them quite often, and they slide on my ring finger just like they used to slide on yours. Each time I adjust them, I think of you because I saw you do that same thing so often, but I never knew why until I wore them myself. They are not a matched set, and I will never know the story why, though I am sure it was a whimsical one.
You were a wonderful mom caring for me, a little girl who might not even have seen her fifth birthday if her mom didn't know her child so well. Who knows what you saw in my eyes, but you knew immediately to whisk me away to the nearest hospital . . . just one of the many times you saved my life . . . physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Though I have so many favorite memories of you, one has become my most favorite of all . . . our last dinner together before I moved to Alaska. We would go there every week, a little corner restaurant where they prepared the kind of simple food that you could eat. We saw the same waitresses time after time. You would always forget to tell them that instead of mixed vegetables that you liked carrots, and I would always remember to tell them when it was my turn to order. What I love about this memory is that not only did you choose all on your own to tell the waitresses that I was moving, but the passion in your voice as you told them . . . my daughter is moving to Alaska! Said like nothing could be more important in this world than for me to live this dream . . . with no thoughts about yourself and how it would change your own life, a life that was gently winding down.
Some bonds are tight, no matter how many miles are between them. The night I almost died in the E.R. up here at the top of the world, almost four years ago now, I heard that you took a turn for the worse all the way down in California, and that you recovered when I recovered. I didn't tell you about it for a few months because I didn't want you to worry about me. Three years ago, after it was your turn to move along to your new life, all I wanted was your wedding rings, the one earthly thing that held your everyday essence and the representation of your true love.
Miss you, mom, even though you are right here with me, though I can't see you . . .
with my eyes, anyway. . .
Love you, always and forever,