Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Mother's Daughter

It's been a whirlwind few days, working with my brothers and my sister to make all the decisions required to plan Mom's funeral, handling details related to most of my extended family coming into town, getting Paul some dress clothes, and straightening up Mom's house for a family gathering we've planned for after all the services are over.

The tears come off and on and rather randomly. Coming across my mother's hair blow dryer unexpectedly yesterday as I worked at her house, for example, triggered a good cry. I'd never dream that remembering how my mother used to sit on her coach and blow dry the curlers in her hair with her blue makeup/hair case at her feet would make me break down, but it did. It's wonderful to have Ben and Paul and family and friends to mourn with, and I've cherished every expression of sympathy that has been offered; thank you!

This morning I had several hours of much needed R&R. I thought I might shop for something to wear at the viewing tonight, but instead I found myself cleaning up the house. As my mother used to say, "My house is a wreck." After all these months of focusing on my Mom's health, things were a bit out of control so I started vacuuming, decluttering, and dusting. It was all very satisfying. Then I looked at the mantle and decided it needed a change.

We had seven botanical watercolors from Ben's mother's estate and they needed to go somewhere. So I rearranged the mantle, taking down all the winter decorations and putting up three of the watercolors. I thought it turned out pretty well.

Then I needed to do something with the big watercolor, which had been made by my great-aunt Anna, and also the rest of the watercolors. They all went into the hallway, which previously had been empty of any art. I thought that turned out pretty well, also. As my mother used to say, "Now it looks like someone loves it."

When I was all done, I wanted to call my mother and tell her what I had done. She loved decorating her own house and always was interested in hearing about any changes I had made in mine. My sadness about not having her to call was overshadowed by my realization that I had, in a way, paid a tribute to her great influence on me, and that she would live on in many ways through her children.

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