|My mother's recipe for Tagarinies, a South American dish that is a family favorite.|
My mom died on April 3, 2013 at 8:30 in the morning. My brother Dave, her sister Betsy and I held her hands and watched her take her last breath.
As my brother said, "The image of that moment is always there but I can't really stand to take it all in yet."
I can't take it all in either. I look at her handwriting and read her recipes and am only partially cognizant that she will never cook for me again. I leave dance class and reach for my phone to call her and remember she won't be there. But it feels more like she is on vacation. She'll be back. Surely she will.
Luckily, in this weird space between losing her and coming to terms with it, my perspective has been shifted profoundly. I was given instant clarity about her specific gifts to me my whole life, those that I refused to see while I was acting feverishly in my role as "daughter." I was also able to understand her forward legacy. I am now held and guided by both mom and Kristin and my other teacher/elders who have their non-linear, ineffable clarity on how grand this life of ours can be.
I have also been gifted MAD LOVE from all of you in the form of earth-shattering, soul rocking healing and food and cards and notes and flowers and plants and smoothies and fellowship and dance and so much more. You gave me a friendship bracelet. You rubbed the side of my arm when I cried because the music made me sad.
I've been inspired in two ways to continue shifting my perspective. Glen Hansard and the rest of the madly talented musicians at this year's Music Now reminded me that passion is not an intellectual, solo pursuit. You gotta go just for it. The big giant beautiful mess of it. You have to tell the truth. So that's thing number one.
Thing number two is to set my eyes on the horizon and see if I can bring it into focus, to literally sketch what I see, to discern foreground from background, to understand scale. I bought a sketch book, oh yes I did. I will finally draw a horse with not too small a head. I tried today to draw what I can see out my back door and call this sweet mess of a thing I did "Buddha says you can leave out the city."
It is a start.
I am a bit of a wayward fledgling again and I don't mind it. Spring arrived in earnest the day my mom left, filling my heart rather than my brain with a perspective of loving hopefulness and gratitude, every single second.
And for those of you who are interested, here is a link to information about the Memorial/Celebration Service of Sheila Sims' beautiful life. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sheilasims1/journal