My mom died on the 9th of May, 23 years ago. Over the years it has been challenging to decipher, develop and distill the essence of who she was as a woman and who she was as my mother and what in turn, those qualities meant to me as I grew up and faced the challenges of what kind of woman I would be.
Here is what I know for sure:
In the 8 years that I knew her my mom was energetic, kind, charming, creative, ready to give her all while also trying to recognize when she needed re-fueling time on her own. She had her own colouring in book and special pencil crayons - she never lost touch with her need to release her creative spirit. My mom instilled in me the value of innovation, the idea that if you want something you simply have to create it - together we researched books on fairies, made life size butterfly wings out of cardboard and cellophane (which I still have) and decorated pot plants for Christmas (we're Jewish). She painstakingly wrote out my (6yr old) dictated stories to go with my carefully haphazard illustrations and characters.
Having her portrait painted for our KIN window has, for the first time in 23 years, made her seem like a part of a community again. Having her picture up there with some many other moms, gives her a present day context and so, in some way, has brought her back into the world - which for me is a gift that will last forever.