As you know if you read my blog I’m writing a book. It’s about my mother and, to a lesser degree, me. I loved her and we were always close. But what’s fascinating is, in dredging up these old memories, I’m noticing aspects of her personality, her character, her being I wasn’t really aware of before.
Maybe I’d seen it, known it all along, but it never registered with me, most likely because I was too involved in the actual moment. I was too busy being a participant to observe, to take note, to acknowledge.
That’s all changed now, though.
She’s been gone nine years and it’s quite a revelation to find myself looking at someone I’ve known my whole life through a rear-view mirror, from the distance of time. To see her objectively, as if she was a stranger.
I never fully appreciated just how strong she was, how determined and pragmatic. How stoic. The grace with which she accepted what she knew she could not change.
Which is not to say she was a wimp, a shrinking violet. Far from it. She voiced her opinion freely and unapologetically. She let you know where you stood in no uncertain terms. When she felt she, or anyone else, was being wronged, being treated unfairly or unjustly, she had no qualms about fighting back.
But she picked her battles. She knew to do that instinctively. She didn’t have to think about it. She didn’t struggle with it. She had figured out that our time on this earth is short and precious and to spend even one minute of it, on exercises of futility, no matter how important they may have seemed, was a waste. She just knew that.
Even now she’s teaching me.