Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mother #11 - Memorial Service pt.3 - the shirt
Hi Mom, So, it's time for another piece of my talk from the Memorial Service, which is still not yet a week old. That's weird.
By the statistics Blogger keeps, yesterday's Calculus post was nearly as popular as any of the previous nine posts, and no one "liked" it on Facebook. Maybe this is because no one likes Calculus or not enough people per view to get even one like. I should not be so focused on readers, and I feel a bit ashamed for even mentioning it. I am doing this to talk to you, Mom, and by extension, then, I am doing this for me. And yet, I feel like I am finding good endings, or so people have told me. I like that I worked down to my last line yesterday: "I am undefined at zero." This thing about zero, especially dividing by zero, is a big deal in math. I thought I might get a like for that. Is that me being too needy? I can't tell because I am undefined at zero.
Okay, next topic...
I was just thinking about pictures to post here. I suddenly wish I had more pictures of you. I wish I had taken a picture of us holding hands, just the hands in close up. And it hit me again that you're gone. You have been cremated. Your body is gone. Bones were pulverized. I have a little bag of your ashes. There's three other little bags. The rest we interred in the Memorial Garden next to the church. Is that where I should go to visit you? It doesn't seem right. That's a nice place and all, but your body is not there, not really. Besides, I feel you with me all the time. I don't think I have to visit you. I think you are visiting me, all the time. And though I feel you, I still miss you.
Why didn't I think to take a picture of our hands, mine holding yours? There's probably a poem that speaks to this thought, but none come to mind at this moment.
I went searching for my book of Rilke poems. I thought I had a book of Rilke poems. And I couldn't find it. Much like, I think I keep hearing your voice, and you are not really here, not physically, at least not the way I always understood "physically."
Oh, yeah, so this is all preamble to today's main event, which is about the Memorial Service and another piece from my ... talk. I still don't like calling it the other thing yet.
Here's the next segment after the bit (the start) I detailed here at
Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mother #9 - Memorial Service pt.2 - the start.
I will probably collect them all in one entry when I get them all included a piece at a time.
Here we go:
I would like to start my description of Marjorie with this shirt. My father helped me create this shirt to feature two nicknames I gave my mother in the 1990s: Frantic Woman and Ms. Intensity. I should have added a third: Ms. Genuine. My mother could not tell a lie. Everything my mother felt was clearly apparent on her face. When she didn’t like one of my girlfriends, and there were a few she did not like, she couldn’t hide it very well. Though she was never crude or cruel, she could be blunt. She would say what she meant, and she would ask any question she felt like asking. I admire these qualities of hers.
Before I come back to the names on this shirt, there’s another name for my mother: the ANL. My best friend and I create acronyms for some of the people in our lives. We had a very difficult time creating a suitable acronym for my mother. Eventually in our random way, we came upon ANL, which means Acronym With No Letters, and it fits. My mother is very difficult to describe. This collection of stories will not do her justice, and I am leaving a lot out, especially things with which I had less experience, like her church work. Her essence is difficult to capture. You had to know her. You had to feel her intensity to really get what she was all about.
And so, the nicknames. Frantic Woman came about at a time when she was clearly doing too much in her life, but she was unwilling to relinquish all her household tasks. After my sister and I were grown up and had jobs, my Mother’s therapist gave her the prescription to get out of the house most days as a way to combat depression. But here’s a woman who spent her life in the home, taking care of everything, and suddenly she was spending most days out of the home, and yet believed she could still take care of everything. For instance, the laundry. My mother would not let me do my own laundry. I would ask her about a shirt in the laundry room that I wanted to wear soon and when she might get around to laundering it and maybe I could just do it myself. “Don’t touch it!” she would cry. “I will do it!” And so she would. After a full day of shopping, appointments, or classes, she would stay up until one or two in the morning doing laundry and all kinds of other things she would have done had she stayed home even one of those days during the week.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 12 days ago