Thinking about my mom lately. I keep imagining telling her about my adventures in Costa Rica. She would have loved to hear about it all. She would worry and I would have to check in multiple times a week. She would encourage me to go to new places and ensure I experienced everything I wanted to do. I can almost hear her voice on the other end of the line, “Hey Sammy!” The smile coming through the miles and wires and imperfect speakers that could never capture the full tone and inflection of her voice. I haven’t spent much time actively reflecting on my memories of her; it fucking hurts. She was such a big part of my life though and I can’t and won’t keep that dam closed up if I can help it. So here we go; a little trip down memory lane if you care to join.
Some of my earliest memories are about my mom. Her soft voice, singing a lullaby to me before I fell asleep; both of us in the top bunk of my childhood bed. I remember sleeping on her chest with the foggy memories of a child. My whole life I could get out of trouble if I could make her laugh. I would do something naughty and my sisters would tune in, ready for the gates to open! I would sense the danger though and do something goofy or smile at her in my way, there was always a little battle in her eyes and in the corners of her lips. She would try not to laugh so hard—irresolutely severe—she usually did and I was saved!
I remember at the end of one of her favorite movies, “Just Like Heaven,” she would get up and dance to the song during the credits—even if she had slept through the whole movie. Every time she danced. Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Sometimes she made my dad dance with her, a lot of the time she just danced for herself. I remember one night we finished reading a chapter of Lord of the Rings as a family and it ended with a cliffhanger. We all wanted to keep reading, but it was too late already and we needed to go to bed. My dad put the book down and started to pack us off. My stubborn Mom grabbed that book and starting flipping through pages to find out what happened next. It was a scandal! We all wanted to know, but it was a big taboo to skip ahead. She did so much for me. I could ask her for help with just about anything and she would. Posters, flyers, campaign ideas, school projects, how to cook something.
Ugh, she could be so goofy sometimes too. Almost unbearably so. One time we were on the boat and she was putting on a wetsuit before going skiing and she got stuck halfway in. She started laughing and waddling around the boat like a penguin. It must have been the funniest thing ever to her because she just wouldn’t stop! The joke was dead and she kept going and going! There’s a picture somewhere. Arms spread, tears of laughter, flapping like a penguin. Oh, my mama, love ya. memento mori.