Happy Holidays everyone!
I have been pondering what to write for this holiday blog and I decided to try to pass on a verbal hug. I think that I'm doing this, if I'm honest, and, like why not be, because I have been seeking one myself. I have the good fortune of having people in my life that will attend to me but what I want is a hug from my mother. She would have been 79 tomorrow, Christmas Day.
She died last year. She had Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia, and so she changed a lot in her last years. Some call dementia the "long goodbye" but I see it a little differently. I was saying goodbye to my former mom but then I got a new one, and I had the opportunity to have a relationship with her in her changed state. Yes it was a weird thing. She died at a memory care facility during Covid. I was not allowed to be with her. A nurse let me facetime so I could tell her how much I loved her. I should look up that nurse and thank her again. She made things the best they could be.
The weight of her loss is crushing. Sometimes I feel like my grief is abating but then the smallest gesture/moment/word/smell brings it back. But this is what I started doing and it helps- I'm creating rituals that will be my go-to when I'm feeling fragile and missing her. For instance, I have been cooking her recipes, baking her cookies, and I got out my punch bowl. I have seven punch bowl recipes from her. Punch bowls are fun! Prolly not great in Covid but whatever.
I'm also wearing her jewelry. It's funny, some of it is not exactly my taste but because it's my mom's I wear it front and center, big huge bauble or not (this has made me see other people's choices in a new light!). I am wearing the clothes she gave me, if I can still get them on, haha (see the write-up of my pants, below). The other thing I've done is call the places where I donated this year and asked them to put my donations in my mom's memory. I have sought out new places to give that are in line with my mom's interests. The Margaret Ann Seiple fund is now set up at the Invisible Food Pantry in Atlanta. And my friend Kelly (the Kelly who used to own half of the Second Serve inventory) organizes presents to DCYF kids for Christmas every year. I ate that up- my mom was a guardian ad litum and would have been running that effort back in her day. Finally, and this has helped me the most, I have made an effort to talk to people about my mom, whether they are close to me or not. Like I'm doing now!
I know some of you reading this have experienced loss of a loved one as well, and it's especially hard around the holidays. Take comfort in your own punchbowl, your own "hug". Try some of my suggestions and see if they help. If they don't at least you know you have someone out in cyberland that is trying to think of a way to comfort you. If you want to talk about your loss, email me. I'll talk to you! We can help each other.
Ok here are the pants that don't fit me. I love them. I kind of want to keep them but there is a story of my mom here, and I want to pass it on.
I feel better already.