This post is the most difficult I've written yet. I don't even know where to start....... because, on February 17, 2011, the most beautiful mother in the world died: My mother. Rose Lee. The Mums.....
She suffered a catastrophic stroke in the wee hours of the morning on February 15th and passed away on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by family members. And, frankly the world hasn't been the same since. I've written this post a thousand times in my head, and yet, now that I'm able to actually write it, I find myself strangely silenced by her loss. For days on end, I tried to pretend it wasn't true. I mean, she did live thousands of miles away, so maybe the silence was simply because we hadn't managed to connect because of the time zone change.
But then the reality of what had happened would kick me in the teeth, and I'd find myself sitting at my desk/in my car/lying in bed/ etc, with tears rolling down my face and an ache in my chest that felt like I'd swallowed a rock.... And THEN I'd think back on what transpired during that week, and my intellectual self knew that she'd gone without suffering too much. And she left this world with a roomful of us standing around holding her hand, telling her we loved her. And we were all there for each other during the hard times leading up to and following her death. And friends and family from far away reached across the country - and wrapped us all in love. For that, I'm eternally grateful.....
When we had the memorial for her on Monday, February 21, my brother Paul and I were incapable of speaking aloud. Mister Man stepped up to the plate and delivered a beautiful eulogy. Michele read a gorgeous poem. My brother and I put together a slide presentation of photos and text. We set it to music: an amazing version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
And this is what we said ...
Rose Lee Snelgrove 1933-2011
Our Amazing Mother
How do you say good bye
to a wonderful mother
who gave us everything?
When it's too painful to say the words aloud
Images help tell the story
of a young girl from Port-Aux-Basques
Who grew into a beautiful woman
And an amazing mother
Who made so many meals
with an extra large serving of love
A fierce protector and advocate,
and sage advisor
A mother to more than just her children
An Auntie and a friend to many,
always cheerful, always kind,
always there for us
A bridge fiend
A world traveller
An adventurous spirit with an adventurous palate
A sweet woman with a sweet tooth
We can't say goodbye because the thought of a world without her
is so hard to imagine
But now we will have to imagine her in our world....
and think of what she would say
And how she would laugh
And how much she loves us
We won't say goodbye because we can't
We won't forget
Mother, Rose Lee, Auntie, Friend
She lives on in all of us.