My favorite photo of Mom and Savannah...taken only 6 months before they both got sick.
Today is my adored Mom's birthday...so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!
I feel like all I've been blogging about lately is birthdays, but that's my reality at the moment. From the last week of June until the last week of July it's an emotional minefield for me. I feel I have to sidestep and tiptoe through mines of emotions that can blow up, ruin my day or make me thankful and aware of how precious life is. These four weeks are some of the hardest of the year for me.
But today I'm feeling great....before I even put a foot out of bed this morning I thought of my gorgeous mom and her infectious spirit and huge wide grin. She would be disappointed if I didn't think of her today and smile and try to do something special in her memory.
When Mom was alive and I would phone her with a sob story, she would tell me, "Darling, go look at yourself in the mirror and smile!" It worked every time, making me appreciate that I had the life I had! You have to try it to believe it.....sometimes, when I attempt this, I laugh out loud at the silliness of it, but it does make me smile and put things in perspective. However, somedays, like today, I would give anything for a phone line to heaven......to hear Mom's voice one more time, hear her laugh and listen to her great outlook and philosophy on life. I miss her so much.
When Mom was dying, almost in a comatose state, one of the hospice nurses told me that it was nice to finally meet me. She said Mom had spoken about Savannah, Dempsey and me constantly, during her chemo treatments. “Your Mom was the star of the chemotherapy ward,” she said. “She always looked stunning, had an incredible attitude and energy. The ward lit up on the days your mother was there. Her effect on everyone was so positive and warm.”
I was happy that one of the nurses caring for her in her last days actually knew Mom, and remembered how magical a person she was, before she had become so ill and only a shell of her former self......I once read on a greeting card, ”Some people are angels, cleverly disguised as human beings.” That describes my mother perfectly!
Mom instilled all her values, beliefs and nurturing qualities in me...it is my privilege now, as her daughter, to pass on only good things to Dempsey. To be a happy and grateful mother and to shower my daugther with the love I was shown...in that way, my Mom's legacy will always live on.
I remember when Savannah was born, one day in the hospital, Mom held my hand, brushed the hair out of my eyes and told me....now I have my own family, that it's my responsibility to be present and cheerful and active in my children's life so they too can survive any future challenges in life they will be confronted with.
And it brings me comfort to know I'm not the only one who doesn't have their mother physically here to hug or talk to. Just last night I received an amazing email from a lady in Tehran who read some of my writing on www.opentohope.com. She sent me such a heartfelt message as she too misses her mom who just died, half a world away.
And it reminded me again that grief has no borders, no restriction on cultures or customs or road blocks for other countries, no matter what the religion or belief, GRIEF feels the same. Mitra writes a blog in Persian, which intrigues me and I look forward to reading her journey from oceans away. Here is part of her beautiful email........"Diana dear, tomorrow is your mother's birthday. I will light a candle for her. An orange one, which reminds me of the Sun. I wish you even greater relief. And I know that when required, you will let those tears come down as well. But you know better than I do, that this may make their souls sorry as well. So, cherish the loving memory of your beloved mother in the most joyous memories you have with her and from her. God bless her soul. As I am writing these lines, my mother is smiling at me from withing the frame of her photo ... And I know that nothing can frame her now. She is now timeless... Sending you much love from a still hot Tehran!"
And I find it fascinating that Mitra wrote that her mother was smiling at her from a photo as she was writing....it's like amongst those words is a message from Mom....to go look in the mirror! So today, I'll pick a bunch of pretty white roses from Savannah's rosebush, put them in a vase next to Mom's photo, light Savannah's candle and do something fun with Dempsey in honor of her!
I like to believe Mom is with Savannah, enjoying her birthday somewhere beautiful.......like an endless Summer's day..............
And I hope if your cup is blue or you are missing your Mom, or a beloved one, you can find comfort in my mother's words, and go look at yourself in a mirror, really look, and turn your frown upside down and SMILE! ;) x
Tarnia's home...I picture them there still!
This is the special candle Mithra in Tehran lit for my mum...thank you Mithra xx