Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Farewell, Clara

My mother Clara is gone, and we miss her terribly. We can find at
least a bit of comfort knowing she is no longer suffering, and that
while her fight with cancer was somewhat brief, we can all be happy
for her escape. Mom has found the ultimate freedom, and has become
"one" with the Universe again. Her journey has ended.

Mom was always a nomad at heart, often ready for an adventure at the
drop of a hat, be it driving her Cadillac El Dorado from coast to
coast, or enlisting in the Air Force and moving to Turkey, not once
but twice. I have to say that it is funny how someone so adventurous
could be so afraid of lizards. While her journey sometimes took her
far away, she somehow always remained at the center of our lives.

She had a glowing, infectious smile that could light up a dark night,
or cheer up a sad soul. Her heart was almost too big to contain, and
she worked hard in the service of others. Her family meant everything
to her, and there was nothing she would not do for them. She was that
person you could call for help in the middle of the night, and could
count on to be there.

As time went on, Mom may have gotten older, but her spirit continued
to grow more youthful. You could sense that if she had the
opportunity, she would beeline for the Keys and hop on the first
passing pirate ship. The things she had once feared began to beckon
her. I was particularly stunned when - after many years of being
admonished by her for riding motorcycles - Mom asked me to take her
for a ride.

But now she is gone.

While we may not look forward to the coming bouts of pain and anguish,
and sadness in missing her, we can look forward to remembering Clara
in ways and times we don't always expect; like to feel her warmth in a
radiant sunset; to think of her bright smile on a dark night
brightened by moonlight; or to see her hair blowing in the wind the
next time we're driving with the top down.

Mom's body is gone, and with that her sweet, soft voice that used to
sing me to sleep; her long fingernails that would gently scratch my
back to soothe and relax me. But she will always be with me - with all
of us. All we have to do is to think of her and she will be there,
looking as beautiful as she ever did.

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