Friends and Neighbors
My mom knew an awful lot of people. A lot of people knew my mom. The great thing about my mom was that she was who she was, all the time. She didn’t put on airs, or dress to impress, or try to be someone she wasn’t. When you met my mom, you really met her.
We’ve been receiving a pretty steady stream of phone calls, emails, and visitors. I’m learning more about my mom than I ever knew, through stories and anecdotes shared with me by her colleagues, friends, and neighbors. My mom’s neighborhood was the whole earth. We received a phone call from Armenia today. A friend from Uzbekistan stopped over last night. I’ve received several emails from various parts of Canada. My mom was a citizen of the world, and she has left a lasting impression everywhere she went, with everyone she touched.
I haven’t met many of the people contacting me; but each of them has said that they feel they know me. My mom spoke with great pride about her children, and never hesitated to share our successes with her own group of friends. It humbles me to learn how much mom bragged about me and my sister to the people she worked with. I knew mom often used me as an archetypical example of Generation X when conducting a training session. It was a label against which I railed constantly, only to further cement mom’s conviction that it was appropriate. I’ll be meeting for the first time a lot of people who know a lot about me. I think that says a lot about the kind of open, honest person that my mom was. The comments from her friends re-affirm that impression of my mom.
My sister arrives home from Kiev, Ukraine tonight. Tomorrow the extended family will begin to arrive. There will be a lot of crying; but there will also be an awful lot of smiling, and laughing. My kids will get to meet a lot of relatives, many for the first time. They’ll hear stories about their grandma, as well as stories about me, and my sister. We’ll begin the slow healing process, by remembering the phenomenal good that my mom did for the world. We’ll honor her passion for life, and for love.