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Colder today, and windy. But after all, it’s November, and the northern hemisphere continues to retreat from the sun.
Today is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 90, had she lived. Instead, I carry the picture of her 44-year-old self in my head, like a picture in my wallet. I have now been without her twice as long as I was with her. I no longer remember the sound of her voice. Instead, what comes to mind most easily is how she didn’t like hugging, but couldn’t talk to me without holding my hand. I’m sure I have some of her ways, but I no longer remember which are mine and which I carry. I’m not lonely for her any more, but am still sad that she left so soon, and never got to experience a life without struggle.
But I make it sound too sad, and it wasn’t. She was playful, and had a carefree spirit, and was wise when she needed to be.
I have her Indian eyes, and her Scottish hair and her little fingers that crook inward, and a host of her stories that help me understand the world that went before me.
So today is not so much about tears for what was not to be, but a celebration for what was, and the bright spirit that so many still remember.
Happy birthday, Margaret Elanor, whom everyone including her daughter called “Shorty.” Just yesterday, someone told me how much they still missed you. If it matters to you in that place now, your light still shines like a candle in more souls than mine.