Friday, December 30, 2011


Three sisters with the best mom in the world
My mother had certain phrases she used regularly.

As kids dressed to the nines we could count on her to send us out the door with "Act as nice as you look."

If we came home from school with sad stories about mean girls and the day-to-day trauma of junior high, she would spend a few seconds sympathizing, then remind us not to do battle in the mean wars. "Kill them with kindness," she'd say.

And she had little sympathy for the hormonal tears that left us awash during the teen years. "Wash your face," she would say tartly. "You'll feel better."

When her daughters, now with new babies of their own, called for advice, she had the wisest counsel: "Trust yourself. You have good instincts and you know more than you think you do."

And every time we pulled into the driveway at the farm, she shut off the car with "Home again, home again, jiggety-jog."

Two years ago today we let Mom leave, a day after the fall that had ended her life as we knew it. I don't question the divine wisdom that designated her time to die; she had started down the slope toward Alzheimer's and she feared this loss of dignity much more than she feared death.

But I miss her. I miss her wisdom and her sense of humor, her compassion and her common sense. Today I'm fighting tears, so I'll wash my face and feel better. I know she wouldn't have wanted her life prolonged past her mental expiration date.

She's home again.

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