And I would venture to say that if you asked my closest of friends, that although I can be a no nonsense kind of girl, ever so slightly high strung from time to time, and all of them would tell you, hands down, that they prefer to stay way off my "bad list", they would also temper that statement with stating that I make them laugh. Hard, down to your belly laughs sometimes. Humor and laughter have seen us through some of our darkest times around here the last 5 1/2 years. And that funny gene has been passed on to our offspring as well. We are filled to the brim with a bunch of smart asses. Joe currently holds the title of resident quick witted contributor to our lives. The kid is funny. Truly is. And its a good thing that humor ranks right up there with our deep and abiding love for one another. Especially these days.
I would have to say that in the nearly 4 weeks since my mom died, I have only had a few really horrible, no good, very bad days. And even on those days, humor was present. Thank God. And sometimes, I do believe that our dark humor isn't always appreciated by all. Or maybe they are just not funny. Hard to say. I am fairly certain that the staff at Pierce Brothers Mortuary thinks we are certifiable. Especially 'Lonnie', who drove us around the grounds in a five rowed tram type vehicle, as we looked for my moms burial place. He knew he was in trouble when we piled in and I proceeded to go into my shtick as a tram driver at an amusement park asking for people to keep their hands and feet in at all times and so on and so forth. It was just the beginning. Trust me.
My point? My point is that even despite being dealt some pretty crappy hands over all of our lives, beginning with my parents who's upbringing resembled nothing even remotely close to the Cleaver Family, despite all of it, we laugh and smile. A lot. My mom, she LOVED to laugh and boy did she smile.
And we cry. And we curse. Even my mom. who once thought "pissed" was a bad word. That is until she joined the workforce at nearly 50 and hung with a young crowd, every now and again, boy did she love a good swear word. But what we do equally as well as those things, is we persevere. Never saying why us. Just making the best of some of the worst and allowing the gifts to rise to the top. Ain't easy in some moments, but it's how we do it.
With all that said, the last several days have found me digging a bit deeper for that laughter. I will hit a few of the high points and won't punish you with the remainder. For starters, the last 10 plus days has had me fighting, literally fighting off the fun side effect of being immune-compromised. Just 2 weeks shy of my next gamma globulin shot, the last month has caught up with me and I am on a double course of antibiotics for what started out as a tiny cold. I also have an oh so fun virus that has taken up resident on my corneas. Sounds fun, uh? And Zoey. What does Zoey decide to pull amidst it all? She decides to get all weird on us, drop her platelets by well over a hundred thousand, and proceed to sleep away the days as well as the nights.
And that behavior bought us a quick unscheduled visit to the oncologist. Who said, "At this juncture, I think, nothing points to leukemia returning." That sentence was meant to give us some reassurance. I think. But as he also pointed out, given her history of leukemia, we can never forget where we started from. Like I could ever forget. Today, I am thrilled to report, that Zoey seems back to her spunky self for the first time in over a week and my heart is racing just a tad bit slower.
So we move forward in our grieving and our living and we take our humor and laughter along for the ride. Somedays, I miss her more then I could ever convey to you all. I listen to her voicemails and I yearn to touch her face. This past week I needed my mom. I needed someone to take care of ME.
And she would have you know. Just as she had done most all of my 47 years. Like this past April when I had that nasty MRSA infection on my foot and she showed up on a whim at the door with this pink gift back filled with brand new white socks to keep my feet covered. Or, how I found out after she passed, that she and Jess were in cahoots together. My mom trying to figure out how she could slyly pay for a monthly housecleaner and a monthly trip to this fabulous chiropractor/ massage therapist, without me knowing. I miss my mom. And every Thursday when I go and change the flowers at her grave, I sit and I talk and I cry a bit as I try to figure out how this day that I knew would come eventually, came so swiftly.
The past three Thursdays, there has been this older groundskeeper that comes by and tends to the area around my mother's grave as I sit on the grass. He is not in the least bit intrusive, but oddly welcome company for the short time I am there. He tries to talk to me, and I struggle to understand him, as I speak only a few sorry words of Spanish. His eyes are warm and his attention to the grass and flowers meticulous. And each day, as I rise to leave, he calls over to me and says, " Hasta la vista, baby." And I laugh and I smile and I think how lucky I am to still see humanity at it's best in such a sorrowful place. Lucky that my heart can still laugh and smile and find humor in my days.
Even at the cemetery.