Today is the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. It hardly seems possible that so much time has passed. I can still see her lifeless body bathed and adorned in purple silk pajamas laid out on her back, her left eye slightly ajar. At last, her struggles had ended; mine had just begun. I scanned her body from head to toe, urging myself to take an indelible photo - an image of her slender fingers still tinged with red nail polish, her thin lips now relaxed for good, her still full head of hair framing high cheek bones, and an aura of . . . if not peace, then of a life well lived, a job well done.
Two nights ago while watching "Real Time With Bill Maher," I got the giggles during one of his "New Rules" segments in which he suggested a host of possible VP running mates for the Mittster: Rubio, Pawlenty, and some guy from a call center in India.
|This is not the guy whose photo appeared on the TV screen, but he'll do|
This last choice caught me completely off guard, and I started to giggle. I couldn't stop. My husband, who had no idea what was so funny, started giggling with me. The giggle was contagious. We were still laughing long after Maher had gone on to his next segment. I dabbed at the tears dribbling down my face and kept right on.
"I'm channeling my mother," I said in between trying to catch my breath. "This is the way she giggled. Remember?"
My husband nodded.
"I loved my mom's giggle. She could be a toughie, I know. But when she started to giggle, everything was up for grabs."
I flashed to meals over the years when all hell broke loose. I remembered a photo of my mother, my cousin, and me at a family reunion. The three of us are doubled over in laughter, unable to carry on with whatever little entertainment we were presenting.
And here I was, two days before the anniversary of my mother's death, laughing as if she were there with me, sharing a moment of pure abandonment and joy.
So, she's still buzzing around after all. Not all the time . . . not as often as I'd like. But here nonetheless. Here to make me giggle, here to remind me of all the lessons offered and the many lessons learned.