In past year's posts, I know those posts have been tough, difficult, abstract (very), sometimes a bit whacky/out there, and pretty much all around not soft. This post is not only a change in theme and feeling but also an action of breaking inertia.
There's one important thing I forgot when I was writing my mother's obituary. So important in fact that I am taken aback as to why I didn't mention it. Maybe my mind and heart being weighed down and not quite in the mindset to write the "perfect obituary" I guess. So now I want to extend and express her legacy more accurately and efficiently.
Her life wasn't her own. Her ultimate hobbies, interests, and life work wasn't anything but her sons and her grandkids. And to reach that out a little farther, her family. Her sister, brother, sister in-law, and nieces. That's all she was interested in. Sure in her earlier years she loved the restaurant business and then making desserts. But during all those years and especially in her later years, it was family. Nothing else.
My respect and admiration for mothers, I thought was well defined prior to her passing. But it wasn't. It changed exponentially during and after she left this planet.
When she became more ill, my brother said something. It was: "She's still cracking jokes and inspiring others to be kind." That right there; is it. Allow me to unpack his statement without transforming it completely and still give it proper justice and barring any equivocation or disambiguation.
Let me highlight it again:
"She's still cracking jokes and inspiring others to be kind."
She smiled at everyone that walked into her room. No matter her suffering. She cracked a smile and said "hi".
Her remaining lexicon at the near-end until she stopped speaking was "Hi!" and "I love you".
As close as I can define a true embodiment of love and kindness. That's what she was. And is. She was and is an epitome of love and kindness.
For her to smile at everyone that walked into her room, her remaining lexicon being limited to "Hi" and "I love you". That's very telling of her essence and the core of her being. Who she was at her very core amidst any sort of pain and suffering there was still a smile and a hello, and telling you she loved you. It was stripped down to just that.
Yes, I realize there are some redundant parts to what I am trying to say, but that's the point.
Inspiring others to be kind and to love- that is her legacy. Love and kindness. Let that be a legacy to withstand all tests of time and tribulation. To love, and to be kind.
"It's funny, the day you lose someone isn't the worst. At least you've got something to do. It's all the days they stay dead." -Dr. Who (#12).
Watching the 2017 Dr. Who Christmas Special was pretty synchronistic. Synchronistic in a way that her and I spent Christmas Eves together for quite a few years. Ordering Chinese and renting a movie. This past year, I spent Christmas Eve alone for the first time in years. Then, the next day, during the Dr. Who Christmas Special, the 12th Doctor gave his goodbye speech before his regeneration into the 13th Doctor, which happened to be a female for the first time in Dr. Who history. Take that piece of regenerating into a female as you will. But for me, it added to the meaningfulness of that scene.
The 12th Doctor's goodbye speech ("never eat pears" was removed for sake of clarity):
"Never be cruel, never be cowardly…" "…Remember, hate is always foolish and love is always wise. Always try to be nice but never fail to be kind. Laugh hard, run fast, be kind."
She would have loved this scene. Probably does. I guarantee it.
Cynthia Ann Westerberg… Cindy… Mom… Mama: May your legacy live on through those whom have heard you and to those whom you have touched.
Inspire others to be kind.