Today is, or would have been, my mom’s birthday. I can’t for the life of me remember what we did two summers ago, on her last living birthday.
There’s much I can’t remember, increasingly, as the calendar-days grow longer between her death date, October 3, 2013, and the present. I can’t recall little things, which then feel like big things, because I can’t ask again. Like yellow. It was her favorite color. I’d forgotten that, too. My sister Karen reminded of that fact last week.
I do remember that my mom wore yellow and other pastel yet bright colors. I’ve no idea why, or perhaps I simply can’t recall. Yet I suspect it was cheer against the gloom of her own childhood memories.
I know, whether specific days stand out or not, that she kept her cheerfulness in the face of any and all hard truths. And there were many. I know she took delight in what most days brought. Or found it, even if it wasn’t quite there. Part self-preservation tactic, for sure, but part self-determination, so as to eke out all that could and should be celebrated in this one, short life we have.
One thing I’ll not misplace amid the millions of memories of her, some saved and other edged out or lost, is love. Love, holder of all colors, all days.
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(Photo by Cindy Milstein, East Lansing, Michigan, spring 2013.)