My mom has died. Her terrible battle with cancer is over. She is no longer in pain. Until the very end, she generously shared her infectious laugh and her warm smile with everyone she encountered. She was that way, and she was loved for it.
I cherish every moment I spent with my mom and, although she was generous with her time, 78 years was not long enough. It is impossible not to mourn her passing, but she taught me that it is better to celebrate what you received than to lament what you lost, and that gives me strength. Not much time has passed, and I still find myself fighting back tears, but as memories continue to flood my brain, each day brings more smiles.
Mom not only gave me life, she sparked my passion for life. She encouraged my curiosity and taught me to see things from differing perspectives. Occasionally, when I would challenge orthodoxy she would express concern, but she never discouraged me from walking to the edge, and she was always there to help pick me up in case I fell. She celebrated my victories more vigorously than I did and she was a caring diplomat when it came to my failures.
Her body may be gone, but her inspiration and the lessons she taught us will continue through my sister and me. She can rest well knowing that her inspiration and lessons have been passed on to her precious grandchildren as well.
In time, I know the pain of her loss will subside (she taught me that too), but I will still think of her every day and celebrate her life by fulfilling her biggest wish; that her children be happy. I am also bolstered by the knowledge that she got what she wanted out of life; time with my father, her family, and her friends; and in between it all a little adventure – in other words, hers was a life well lived.