My mother was a survivor. She grew up in Texas during the depression, often reminding me (whenever I made a comment about all of her shoes) she often went barefoot as she only had one pair of shoes. A child of divorce in a time when "that just wasn't done" she was separated from her brother and spent the second half of her childhood with her grandparents. At 21 she lost her mother and then her father a few years later.
But my mother was not a mere survivor. She transformed her life, choosing to thrive in whatever conditions she found herself in. These past few years she was active and busy in her community, a fact that surprised me given her natural predilection for a comfortable armchair and a good book. She told me she knew she would get depressed being by herself, so she forced herself to get out and make new friends.
My mother never failed to surprise me.
When I thought she was beyond words, she sang one last song with me, pouring all her strength into a surprising rowdy rendition of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.
The hardest part of her passing is the fact Cowgirl never got to say good-bye. There just wasn't time.
So one week later, we wrote out our wishes and prayers, creating tiny scrolls. I made a sacred bundle with a sprinkling of her ashes and a few special objects to accompany her spirit and we buried it all in the center of our fairy circle in our backyard.
Now my mother is with the fairies. There are many prayers in that earth. She is shaded by a flowering crabapple tree. Right now, the branches are bare but come Spring ... come my mother's birthday ... we can look out and say "Amma O is blooming."