July 9, 2010

So last night I was flipping through channels and started to watch a really bad reality show that I will otherwise never admit to watching. Really, it’s just that embarrassing.

The reality ‘stars’ of the show were getting married and during the ceremony they stopped to remember those who could not be there for the event, specifically the brother of the groom who had passed away many years ago. At that moment, the camera thoughtfully panned from the wedding couple to the parents of the groom who were all visually moved by the moment and were obviously reflecting on the memories of their son and brother. I am not sure how many years had passed since the brother had passed away, but the impact seemed to be intense, even after such a long time. It was actually a very nice moment for such an intellectually retarded TV show.

It was particularly meaningful to me only because I have recently spent a lot of time thinking about the enormity of my mother’s passing and the impact it has had on my life. Just one year later, it’s still very real and seemingly “unrecoverable”.

I had originally setup this blog just after we learned that mom’s medication was no longer effective, so that I could share it with her and show her how much she meant to us (Chole’s Quilt). But to be honest, even before my mom started to lose some of her cognizance, she never really took much interest in the blog. Understandably, she had other concerns to think about – and plenty of heartfelt gestures of support and love to remind her of how much we cared in “realtime”.

But now I can’t help to wonder if she knew how much of an impact her absence would have on me [us?].

Would her selflessness and modesty have prevented her from assuming how much she would be missed? God, I hope not. I hope that unlike me, she’d had the foresight to know how hard this would be; how unnatural the world would seem to those of us who still think of her every day. I hope she knew that she’d leave behind memories, and grandchildren, friends and art to fill the void just enough to make it somewhat bearable, most of the time.


5 Responses to “Impact”

  1. Howard / Fresno Says:

    Sometimes when I am feeling a bit low, I go find the quilt for comfort. I always enjoy reading the writings and reponses . They always seem to have the spirit, joy and humor that lifted me for over 40 years. Trashy novels, J Jill catelogues and chocolate were staples of our household. They blended equally with the wisdom, intelligence,compassion and love of family. I miss it all more than sometimes I can allow myself to feel. Moving on is made possible when I see her spirit in those she touched.

  2. Lydia Avina-Drayer Says:

    I’m so glad you’ve kept the blog up and running Howard. It helps tremendously to read your beautifully written thoughts. There are times when I chide myself for being such a cry baby when I know Chole would want me to move on. Thing is, when someone is as exceptional as her, as loving and giving, as joyful and funny, missing them is perfectly natural. We’d have to be total idiots not to notice the void. So I guess this means we can celebrate our intelligence? With chocolate?

  3. Mague Says:

    What a GREAT picture of my sister and her first son!! I wonder why I have not seen this picture? This picture full of smiles and good feelings. The little earrings are too sweet! Speaking for just myself, this picture is symbolic of how I know your mother would want to be remembered now-full of smiles and good memories. I will send you an e-mail later of the trashiest, who-would-have-thought-it reality show I watch (in Spanish), when I am feeling like I need to eat some chocolate. Its too shameful to name here. Your loving aunt, Mague

    • [blush]

      Thanks, Mague. That picture was taken during one of my mom’s visits to Dallas. Even though she was on Tarceva, she would make the trip to TX with my dad twice a year. Those were such fun trips — despite the side effects of the drug, mom would always make sure she had a good time — getting her hair done at a fancy Dallas salon, shopping at Northpark (our version of Beverly Center), eating at trendy Uptown restaurants…I will always be grateful for those last few years that we all had together.

      • Mague Says:

        There is something to be said about “those last few years that we all had together”. We were in many ways fortunate to know what was coming and about when the time would arrive. I appreciate the time we all had to prepare. Unlike people who instantly leave us due to a car accident, etc. We all appreciate that the plans for Chole included those last few years we all had together.

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