I realized this morning that today is the 11th anniversary of my mother’s death. This is perhaps my favorite picture of her, taken at one of our last big family Thanksgivings. Here she is surrounded by her 3 daughters and two of her granddaughters. I “hosted” the gathering, which meant my Mom helped me find and rent a beach house on the Oregon Coast and did most of the cooking. That’s how she was, and that’s when she was the most happy–organizing, planning, and doing for others, surrounded by family.
In some ways it is very hard to believe that 11 years have past. My mom went through a lot on the medical end of things, with so much pain and suffering towards the end. Yet she was surrounded by family who, inspired by her example, organized and planned and did what needed to be done. What more could a mother ask?
So much has happened in my own life during these past 11 years. In many ways, it was the massive restructuring of my life after her passing, and the maturing and reorienting of my relationship with God that happened as a result, which led me on the path which puts me on the corner of Susan and St. Joseph.
Life is good for me these days, and I cannot tell you how many times I feel the presence of my Mom. Whether it’s knowing what she would say if she were still here (like the moment after I was elected at our Chapter and I knew she’d tell me to go put on a skirt for the blessing ritual!) or a more subtle but very real moment of her actual mysterious presence, nudging me or just being there at the right time.
The communion of saints is a mystery, and yet one that in our heart of hearts we know to be true. Loving someone also means that some day, you have to say goodbye. It’s a comfort to me to know that the connections continue, through our memories and who we have become, and through the nudges and presence that walks with us as we become who will we will be.