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Death Day: Annual Memorial Post

Every year, I generally take July 21st off of work so that I can privately slip into hiding and away from the world. This is the day that my mother passed away, circa 1996. This year, I sacrificed today, and went to work, because I attended my great niece’s 8th Grade Graduation, so I did not have the extra time to take off, like I normally do. But, the graduation was well worth the time I took off for it.

That doesn’t mean that my mother is any less from thoughts than any other year. She’s not. I pass by the graveyard where she’s buried on the way to work every morning, and I silently say hello to her every morning as I pass it. Today, on her death day, I even had a little conversation with her as I passed by the graveyard, explaining why I didn’t take today off, and promised to stop by on the way home from work. I know that sounds a bit strange. But, every person mourns in their own way.

My mother was a wonderful woman; strong, confident, stubborn, supportive, and a myriad of other wonderful descriptive words I could give her. When I decided that I wanted to try my hand at acting, and made that my dream, she was the first person supporting me. She went to every single play that I was in. When I was 17, she took me to Baltimore for an audition with a talent agency. She made sure I could go to college, and supported my decision to become a Drama major in college, even though my father was against Drama as a major. I would have taken things further, and apprenticed at a theatre, but just before my senior year in college she got sick. So, I opted not to pursue an apprenticeship, and instead stayed at college to finish out the year close to home. My college was only 20 minutes away from our home.

It always stings me to the core when I hear others say they don’t have a great relationship with their mother. My fondest memories in life include my mother in them, almost always. She and I would always go shopping together. We’d go to the movies together. I’d steal her clothes for school; and even sometimes her hats. We’d play games together; particularly dice game Yahtzee, or the card game Rummy. We’d talk about things going on in my life; even some of the stranger things I’d been interested in, like Wicca, or the Ouija Board. And, in spite of some of those stranger interests, she’d never condemn me. She might have questioned my decisions sometimes, but she would never condemn them. She always supported me, and was interested in what I was doing, no matter what.

Over the years she taught me many things. How to knit. How to crochet. How to sew. How to make decorative little flowers out of a tiny piece of cardboard, a little bit of glue, a pipe cleaner, and various seeds and beans. How to paint little ceramics. How to do paint by numbers. How to cook. How to love. How to have fun. And, most importantly, how to live; with pride and dignity.

The thing that I remember her for most, at least in the last year of my time with her, was right before my final year in college. She’d already been diagnosed, and was battling the cancer. I was due to be in my, then, best friend’s wedding within 2 weeks, and I wanted a change for my hair. It was summer, and my hair was long and hot. So, I took a pair of scissors, lifted my hair, and just snipped a little more than half of it off. It was an absolute wreck. I had many mis-matched, multi-sized pieces of hair. Think about the worst hair cut you’ve ever had, and then quadruple that experience, it was that bad.

When my mother saw what I had done, she near about had a heart attack right then and there. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: Lisa, what have you done? Your hair!

Me: (non-chalantly): Mom, it’s fine. It’ll grow back.

Mom: Get your butt in the kitchen and sit down. We’re going to fix it right now.

Me: (laughing): Mom, it’s okay. Really. It’s just hair. It’s a weed. It’ll grow back.

Mom: LISA! SIT DOWN NOW! Oh. That wedding is next weekend. How are we going to fix this in time?

Me: (laughing more): I’ll go to a hairdresser. It’ll be fine.

Mom: (who finally gets me to sit): You’ve ruined your hair. Your beautiful hair! Your friend is going to be really mad at you, that you ruined your hair before her wedding! I don’t know if I can fix this or not.

Me: Mom. Relax. It’s okay.

I was actually /in/ the wedding party, as the Maid of Honor. *coughs*

Mom did her best to fix it. We did eventually go to a hair salon to get the rest if it cut and evened out. But, I think she also forbid me from ever cutting my own hair again after that. And, in the end she did actually laugh about it – after she got over the shock and fright of it; which was good, because she needed to laugh. Badly. After finding out the worst news of her life.

I love her, and still miss her very much. But, with time, the pain dulls, but the memories never fade away.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
nynrose
Jul. 22nd, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
tigana
Jul. 24th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
A beautiful, sweet post. I'm sorry for the loss and the pain but glad you have such wonderful memories.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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