Last week a good friend of my mom's died suddenly. She was in her 80s and while I know people do not like to hear it that is not young - it is old. That word should not be so negative that we try and say things that "well it's not old for today's day and age" -- yeah actually it is. Yet it is not a bad thing or even a good thing it is both and it is neither. If you live to that age or older without being incapacitated, able to enjoy life then it is good to remember you have that many years of good moments to celebrate. I for one know I am getting older - I do not want to lie or pretend about my age because who am I really fooling? I know how old I am and what experiences would I cut out of my life with the years I shave off exactly. It also does not make her death any easier for those around her.
This weekend we also are surrounded by news of more and more horrifying deaths, over 2200 in Nigeria, the Charlie Hedbo killings, more rapes and deaths due to isis and their followers. I am totally aghast when terrorists take "credit" for their actions. How about all the money from the training camps and weapons be used to try and build your people up - oh yeah that's scary to them because then people may not want them - such is the price of democracy and of people's choices there and all over. We all have had people that have been elected who we could not disagree with more but they were the choice that was made - I got to live with that. I should not feel afraid of death for not choosing them.
On Monday we celebrate Martin Luther King day. A man of many contradictions - he was not a saint nor should he have had to be. He was not flawless nor should he have had to be. He did not want more than equal opportunity ... not more just equal. He did not want to be treated differently but treated with the respect so easily enjoyed just by being born looking unlike him. His non-violent approach in the face of violent opposition is what we remember more than than those perpetrating the violence. We remember and feel his actions and acknowledge their triumph over those who tried to stop him in the name of hate. We remember!
All of these events which stem from the personal to current events to history got me thinking - what do I want to people to remember about me.
For those who knew me personally and as friends I hope they remember me for laughter - I love to laugh and I am dropping modesty to say I am pretty funny (I remember my Dad for this trait). I want them to remember me for being a true friend someone that they got a tissue from, shared a good meal with, a bottle or two of wine, music and book discussions and who accepted them for who they were and loved them for those things. I hope they think of the moments we shared and are glad to have had me in them.
For those who knew me casually I want to be thought of as someone who gave everyone a chance to be who they were and a helping hand when needed. A person who respectfully disagreed with them and who admitted when she was wrong more often than not.
I want my boys to remember me the way they call me now "best mom ever" - who put them before everything else in her life while teaching them to do the same for those they love. I want them to think of the times I showed them that I needed to do things for myself so that they too would be empowered to do things for themselves that made them happy. May they remember my cooking, my excitement about learning new things, my love for them and may they pass it along.
Maybe people will think of this blog and the fact that it shared how much more alike we are because of our differences. That we fuck up as parents, lovers, friends - that we get mad and hold in hurt - that we want more than just the ordinary.
I of course want those lovers of my past who meant something to remember that when they looked in my eyes they saw the greatest version of themselves (a line that still makes me swoon even after many years of having been said to me) and what they could be. May they fondly remember a touch and a kiss and oh ok let's face it I do want them a little wistful for not having more time with me .. but who doesn't want that ???
My mom's friend who passed away is someone who I think back on with a smile because she always had one - she was a great mom to 2 really great people who in turn carry on that warmth she gave off when she walked into a room.
Dr.King for me is a man who showed the world that your name and your non-violent actions will carry through history much more than those who act with disgrace .. we do not celebrate those whose minds are not free enough to allow others to be free also.
I will remember the victims of terror attacks, of children killed in the line of fire by a war that seems to have forgotten that it is not the answer and most of all I will remember to enjoy life beside people who are not like me, or just like me or part of my life because old or not eventually we will all be but a memory so let's make some great ones while we are still here.