08 July 2009

time since... fourteen months

Two of my nephews married two wonderful young women nearly 18 months ago. Both of these new brides have recently lost their mothers. Unexpectedly, gone too soon. One, on Monday before a Thursday wedding, after standing in line accepting congratulations, they then spent their first day as a married couple accepting condolences at a funeral. And just this past weekend the other couple learned their mother didn't feel well while on a drive with her husband, pulled over, became unconscious, and never woke up. This type of shock is obliterating. I want to give her some gem of advice, but know nothing makes sense right now, robotic numbness, that tin-foil shell again. One thing I have learned is that relationships, even mother and daughter, keep growing and changing even when one has "passed on." That in the future there will be moments where memory doesn't take your breath away and tears are not burning, but cleansing.

Two weeks ago, right before my mom's birthday all her daughters were in town. We spent the day doing what we would have done if she were here... Hogle Zoo. This place is forever intertwined with memories of my mother. There she taught me how to roar like a mountain lion. We all have the layout of the zoo imprinted in our subconscious, and thanks to a mom who loved to take her children here we could walk through it in our sleep... and now we continue that memory by showing her family the same "happy place."

The blonde Italian rides.

Daughter and grandson take a round on the carousel.

He must get that riding pose from his mother. (former rodeo queen)

The great-granddaughter who rides only "on the bench"

Don't tell him it's not real.

Happy Feet.

Giraffe pattern, in case you didn't figure it out.

Granddaughter and great-granddaughter explore the tiger's swimming pool.

This guy just made me laugh.

Brothers check out the reptiles or is it a bird.

After only wanting to see the snakes one grandson proclaims, "If you see a snake like this at grandpa's then you go and tell your mom and then grandpa will chop it up with a shuzzle."

Grown-up granddaughter still likes to take a "walk on the wild side"

Gorgeous granddaughter and family

Mom's family, every age, all love the train at Hogle Zoo.

Mr. J. makes funny faces. (notice the little one in the back getting in on the action)

Grandsons spin the "water ball rock"

What a good day. I thought as I was leaving the gate, "Mom would love this." And guess what, I think she did.


Tamara Jacobs said...

oh what an awesome post! the zoo is totally Grandma to me! i think almost every time i've gone there in my life she was there. i love the pictures and i'm so glad we could all be together for a while.

Mel said...

Amen! It was a wonderful day and it felt so good to all be together. Mom did leave us with awesome memories and it feels good to carry on...it doesn't fill the big, empty hole, but it does help to ease the pain. Bittersweet...that's what everything still feels like...bittersweet.

Nat said...

I wish I could have been there. The zoo really does remind me of Grandma. She loved it, even when it was hot and miserable! We might have to do that again in the fall when we are there.

karengberger said...

What a beautiful family you have, and a wonderful legacy for your mother. Thank you for sharing it with us.