Remembering mom, two years on

Two years ago, I lost my mom.

In our family room hangs her oil painting of me in the redwoods when I was a child. On our kitchen drainboard sit the orchids I got after going to an orchid show with her and dad. Outside our kitchen window, the muted chimes resemble those in the gentle tree guarding where she rests. And the moon watches over all.

They all remind me of mom.

Yet, it’s not just things that do.

When I iron a shirt, when I cook a favorite recipe, when I mop the floor and make my bed.

She taught me how to do all these; they remind me of mom.

But it’s not just housework.

When I send a card, when I take the time to help, when I volunteer, when I say a kind word, when I’m at my very best.

That’s my mom. That’s who I remember.

And I’m thankful.

I Miss You, Ken

This past weekend, I attended a “celebration of life” memorial for one of my best high school friends. Seeing the pictures and listening to his family reminisce made me sad I’d lost contact, but grateful we’d recently reconnected on Facebook.1No fireworks at the Olympics? Boo!

I have one story about Ken I must tell:

Suzi and I wed 26 years ago. We got presents from friends, classmates, friends of our parents, church members, etc. — lots of presents. Of all the presents, I remember only two,2Indeed, I do remember two presents: Ken’s and one other. As long as I don’t identify that other person, you can imagine the other remembered gift is yours. Yes, this past weekend I said I’d remembered only one, but with the retelling of this story, I remembered another. Lucky me. ;-) I’m sure Suzi remembers many more. Hug your family (and friends) — often. one of them being Ken’s. It was in a large box, large enough to fit a microwave oven, and it was heavy. Inside, we discovered 2,000 paper plates, 2 bottles of Martinelli’s, and a note from Ken:

“You’re married now. You have better things to do than dishes. Enjoy!”

We used those plates for years, remembering Ken each time he “did the dishes” for us.

Classic Ken. I will miss him.