“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” -Unknown
That’s great, and true, to an extent. While time is healing all wounds, however, it fades memories too. Maybe that is, in fact, how time works so well to heal grief, by wiping away the memories that make you hurt so much. Seven years is a long time. Memories dissolve. Life moves forward, even after you’re left behind. 28 seasons have turned. I haven’t seen my mom, heard her laugh, or seen that mischievous twinkle in her eye for seven years. I’ve forgotten things about her, things she said, things we did together, time we spent together, that I never thought I’d ever forget.
Fortunately, as some of the memories fade, regret and resentment fade too.
Resentment, because my mother didn’t even try or want to take better care of herself, to stick around for her four children who had already been without a father for so long, and for her seven grandchildren who never knew him, and now would barely know her. Regret, because I wasn’t there with her when she died. You can’t ever get back that moment in time when someone leaves the earth forever and life slips away.
Mom could have lived much longer, had she chosen life. One of my nieces is getting married this week. Mom, of all people, should be here to be a part of it. She loved weddings. But, I guess she was just tired. She’d buried two husbands, the second of whom was very ill for years before he passed. She even had sold her bridal boutique over to my sister. She’d married off four children who’d produced 7 grandchildren. She wanted to go on her own terms, at the “right age” for her, and I guess she did, in a way.
“Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” –Unknown
On this week of the 7th anniversary of Mom’s death, I feel as though her spirit may be stirring things up around here just to make sure we don’t forget about her.
It’s appropriate that there’s a big wedding in the family this week. Mom would be so excited about it and proud, even if she may have not expressed it easily. I know she will be at the wedding in some way.
And, the house Mom and Dad had built and lived in for more than 40 years is on the market, for the first time since my siblings and I sold the house off in the process of settling her estate. When we sold the house, we held out and spared it from being torn down by a developer who wanted to replace it with a McMansion like 80% of the other lots on the street. We didn’t want our house to be completely destroyed forever.
Today, the house, now updated, gutted, and completely renovated, is for sale again. It doesn’t look anything like it did when we sold it seven years ago, but it’s somehow comforting that it’s still standing. It’s one memory that can’t completely fade. I can drive by, and see the house there, where over 40 years of family memories were made. The couple who bought the house from us in 2004 are moving following a recent divorce. Perhaps it was their 7-year itch too.
In conclusion, although my mom’s beverage of choice was a Manhattan on the rocks, not a martini as stated below, this quote pretty much sums up her attitude on life, which ended seven years ago. I don’t know who wrote it, I’ve seen it attributed to multiple sources, including a greeting card, but it’s still the perfect quote for her!
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, martini in one hand, chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO, What a Ride!”