goodbye, mel: october 6, 1952 – saturday, september 8, 2012
i am devasated but also relieved to let you know that my mother passed away this evening. she was home, with us–the cats were locked up–and she let me have control of the remote, so we were watching my absolute favorite, season 3 of leverage. we should all be so lucky to face what she faced with the grace, dignity and bravery that she found for herself every single day for the past three years. (almost to the day.)
we were able to tell her how much we loved her, and how proud we were of her strength, and at long last were able to convince her to relax and let go. i’ll miss her (i already do), but in so many ways i will forever be grateful for what her illness taught me about her, and about me, and about how alike we are. we were never “gilmore girls,” but in the end i have no regrets about how much i was able to share with her before she left. wherever she is now, even if she is nowhere, she is more comfortable than she has been in months and for that i can only have relief and gratitude.
most especially, i need to acknowledge that without my mother i would never have gotten interested in sewing, which has given me more pleasure and more new things to learn about than anything in my life, including my beloved photography. i first bought a machine the weekend she was diagnosed, because it was something we could do together while she was sitting down. i think it is fair to say that i cottoned on to it far faster and far more obsessively than she ever imagined, and i even think she took some pride in how much i try to learn about and accomplish with my sewing. just a few days ago she insisted i bring out my chanel-style jacket to show off to some of our family visitors, and for the entirety of her illness she surrendered her custom-made dining room table (with custom-made protective pads) to my sewing needs.
i’ve been doing a lot of sewing this month to keep my head clear and have been consistently grateful for the release and outlet it provides. my therapist compared it to meditation, and that is how i hope to continue approaching it.
and yes, i did get to show my mom my peter max-inspired screen prints.
and yes, she thought i was completely insane. but it made her smile.