Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

My sister Joey (1961-2003)

My niece Sophie is working today so she took me out for a Mother's Day breakfast. The problem, she says, with working on Mother's Day, is that everyone asks her when she's seeing her mother and what she's doing. In retail, everyone asks these questions. Since she works in a place with a lot of repeat customers, the same people have asked her the same questions every year for three years now.

I came up with the perfect response.

"Are you seeing your mother today?"

"I saw her this morning." (And she did. My sister's ashes are in my dining room, still in the box the funeral home places her in, inside a slightly rat-chewed velour bag.)

"What did you do?"

"Not much. She's dead."

She probably won't use my snappy comeback - although I know my sister would get a giggle out of it. Unfortunately I can't use the same schtick.

My Mum in 1964 (1927-1999)
"Are you seeing your mother today?"

"No. She died fifteen years ago."

"I'm sorry. Will you visit her grave?"

"I'd like to, but I'm not sure where it is."

Like me, my mother was very close to her sister. My cousins and I shared holidays and weeks of summer vacation together. When my mother died, it made sense to spread her ashes near my aunt and uncle's home. (Since Mum and Dad had sold the house we grew up in.) We had a lovely family gathering down by the lake, then a gust of wind came up and that was Mum all over.

Wherever her mortal remains are, I imagine her spirit is sitting by a heavenly lake with my sister Joey, Aunty Yang, maybe Nana, and many family dogs.

Aunty Yang in 1961

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