I have often quoted my favorite author, Carmen Agra Deedy. Her book, The Last Dance, is my favorite book of all time. Although it is a children's book, it is meant for any age. The message about the importance of family is beautifully written. In the story, the grandfather tells his grandchildren that every human being has the right to three things in life:
To Dance. The great thing in life is not so much to dance well,
but whether one is willing to dance at all.
To Sing, Even if you sing off-key. The crow has as much right to
a voice as the nightingale.
To Tell Stories. Those we love are never really gone as long
as their stories are told.
This past week was an emotional week for me. October 6th was the 12th anniversary of my mom's death and October 8th would have been her 97th birthday. Since she died, our family has tried to get together each year about this time to tell her stories. She was quite a character and so there are always a lot of laughs. Last night, Teresa, Judy, Ken, Kerri, Chris, Cameron and I went to dinner at Cafe Roka in Bisbee to celebrate her life and to tell her stories. We laughed about so many of them.
When my children were little, she was very strict with them, as she was with me when I grew up. But when Cameron was born, that all changed. She was absolutely crazy about him and I saw a side of her that I had never seen before. My mom was never the "cookie" making mom or anything like that. She was a tough little lady who got things done in her own way.
One of the many stories we told last night was just before she died. We had gone out to dinner in Mesa for Kerri's and Cameron's birthdays in early September. Cameron had just turned four. My mom was no longer able to walk because of a stroke that she had so she was sitting in a wheelchair at the head of the table. Cameron started to do something that he shouldn't have and Kerri corrected him. Well, that was not okay with his "Great" as she proceeded to try to stab Kerri in the hand with her fork. It was hysterical. Cameron loves this story so we have to do a reenactment every year!!
This tradition has become very important to us. Last night, something happened that I think was a kind of message. There was a mix up with the time for our reservation so we had to wait a bit and then had to go up one flight of stairs, which was a bit difficult for Teresa. So the waiter brought out some appetizers on the house because of this extra wait. One of the appetizers was named "Margaret's olives.........." My mom's name was Margaret Olive!!! I think that maybe that was her way of telling us she was with us.
I miss her every day and I am thankful to have had such a wonderful mother. I learned so much from her and I know she would be proud of me being down here in Douglas with Teresa and for the job that I am doing!! "Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told!!!" We will continue this wonderful tradition I am sure.