I know the last few blog entries have been a little solemn and, since today is the 3rd anniversary of my Mom passing away I thought this one would naturally be a little sad, too. But I changed my mind.
Pat Trotter was too wonderful a person to be summed up in a sad, tearful blog entry. She was funny. Boy, could she tell a joke and her stories always kept family and friends in stitches. She possessed a very dry, witty humor and she would often point out little everyday things and find something ironic and/or funny to share.
She was an artist. She could draw, paint, sew...you name it. Need a prom dress in 24 hours? No problem. How about a building-sized breakthrough banner for the football team? Coming right up! Whether murals in the hallway or a rainbow in our room, Mom always used her talents to make our home a bright and happy place to be.
She was a gifted writer. Funny poems, poetry for friends, and short stories about life--these have been an inspiration to me in my own work. Here is an excerpt from a poem she wrote about the BlueRidge mountains:
..."a million different shades of green moss-covered rock and kudzu vines, sun- dappled stone with yellow tones, and the dark gray green of ageless pines. Nights that are cool and days toasty warm. Explosions of fall color dazzle your eyes. Leaves falling down into cascading streams as my eyes are drawn upward to cloudless blue skies..."
She had such a gift and we are blessed to have a book that we found containing most of her writing. Sometimes, I just sit down and pick certain ones to read and it feels like she and I are having a conversation.
Favorite Mom memories include: her playing piano every Sunday morning as we finished getting ready for church, cutting up vegetables for her Thanksgiving dressing, her trying to sing the words to "Baby Got Back", the "box" of stuff she always had waiting on us every time we'd go visit--chock full of newspaper articles, recipes, funny emails (that we had seen a hundred times), harmonizing as she and I sang Amazing Grace and dozens of other favorite songs, teaching me how to sew, the sound of her cooking dinner while the Carol Burnett Show played in the background, the way she would tilt her head in the mirror if she thought her hair looked good, her love of Barry Manilow, John Denver and Neil Diamond and Danny Wright, cherry vanilla ice cream and lemon ice box pie, stacks of Readers Digests and her secret Skittles stash in her bedside table drawer.
I could write for a week straight and still not record all of the memories I have of my Mom. She was a surprisingly complex woman who devoted her life to her family and friends instead of focusing on herself.
So, I choose to celebrate her life today instead of focusing on her "losing" her battle to cancer. She did not lose. She fought bravely for eight months and, although she would disagree, she never lost an ounce of dignity in my eyes.
I am not sad today. I am lucky to have had such a wonderful, talented and caring Mom who poured her life into mine. For that, I am blessed.