'You taught me the courage of the stars before you left.
How light carries on endlessly even after death.
You explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.'Those lyrics from a song, I can only be reminded of her in the most beautiful of ways. Much like light goes on endlessly after the death of a star forever reaching out into the Universe to be seen by all who exist within it ... I am reminded of memories being the same. My memories live on of Mom. Memories and stories I will share with my children someday. And I can't help but think of how her light will live on endlessly, through me. Through you. Through every one who was touched by Virginia in their lives and there were many. Believe me I know. I couldn't walk in this town without someone grabbing my arm to ask me about her, how she was and what she was up to. Like me, you will carry her light with you all. How she shaped and changed lives in her practice will carry her light forward to be shared by the next generation. My mother lives on in memory though us all.
Looking through my things in the barn loft, I can't help but find reminders of her and the way she and I are alike. Okay, so, not something a child usually wants to admit to, but this I do. I found a drawing I did of tulips. Much like her I was gifted in art, even gifted with the skills in the same areas. I draw my tulips so much like her. Almost identical to her watercolor painting of tulips that still hangs in the farm house. Funny how I never saw this before until that moment I was staring at the sketchbook and couldn't help but see her hand in mine, her touch. I was too set on being different from her. I see so much of her in me. In my face, my hair - I know I look like her. Our third grade pictures if they weren't labeled, you couldn't tell us apart.
The things she did, how she did it .... she was brilliant. Always was. She earned not only a bachelors degree but a master's degree in five years- her bachelors only took her a little under three years. She set to do something most people can't dream of - going to school after being out of it for 20 some-odd years, with kids at home that depended upon her. But she was determined .... She wanted to be finished so she could get back to us kids and support the family. And I know she was so proud of me for returning to college myself and doing so well. I've been a straight A student in everything I've touched, even German when my classmates didn't do half as well as I did. I see her in me as I go about my school work, the exact same methodical methods to the work. So determined to prove myself better, if not the very best in all I touch. If I turn out half as beautifully as she did, half as intelligently, that is a life I can be proud of. Anyone could be proud of. And I know no matter what I do in life, she will be so proud of me, so happy, so joyous.
I ask this one thing of you today, carry her light, her memory with you always. She is still with us and will remain forever in our hearts. Much like her art is still etched in the way I draw my flowers, just like her ... Her memory is etched into our hearts and souls. She will never be forgotten. Never.
I see her in me every day, every minute, with every beat of my heart. How she shaped me, changed me, and made me who I am today. I am so so grateful for those things she made me. Her light is in me, and will be in every person I touch in my life. Because I cannot touch them without bringing a bit of her with me, and like that her light lives on endlessly even after death. In ways most people will never know, but I will. My family will.
(I'm not sure that I'll leave this unchanged but I wrote it today after hearing said song and I knew I needed to write this. To write why I keep using that quote for my status and what it now means to me. I suspect I'll use this in her funeral. It only feels right.)