It’s seriously been 12 years? I have no idea where the time has gone so quickly. It’s so crazy that I have now spent more of my life without my Mom than with her. I remember this day (and the few days leading up to it) so vividly that I feel like I’m still 11 years old.
But you know what? As I was getting ready for school this morning a thought crossed my mind: Why is it that I seem to get really sad on the day marking her death? Why do I have to go out of my way to recognize the fact that she is gone every September 29th? I should celebrate the fact that my Mom is no longer suffering. I should think about her every day try to remember everything I can about her because that way the memories will stay alive.
It’s still weird to think that I don’t have a Mom around here anymore. In Moldova, people get so shocked when I say that my Mother has died- and that she died when I was little. I have met more people here that are in their 60’s and 70’s and still have BOTH parents living.
So, instead of writing a sad “pitty me” story, I’m instead going to tell you about funerals in Moldova- because they are so different from the funerals at home that it’s quite fascinating.
Yesterday I informed my NMG that today was the anniversary of my mother’s death, she asked me about funerals in America. She asked if we celebrate 4 days after their death? 9 days? 14 days? 1 year? The answer is, “no”. But here? The answer is, “yes”. When someone dies, their family creates sarmale (cabbage rolls) for more friends and family. Sometimes this can mean as many as 500 or more people. They then create different meals on the following days and serve it to everyone- where as in America (at least how I know it), people seem to give food to the family of the person who has died instead of the other way around. And, we only “celebrate” one, sometimes 2 days (if the wake/visitation/funeral are on different days). I should ask her more about it- like, if black is a traditional color, if people seem to be happier rather than sad, etc.
My mom was an incredible woman. She was beautiful, wonderful, smart, funny, and very friendly. While I never got to know her on an adult level, the stories that her friends tell me keeps her alive and sometimes I feel like we are going to call each other to go grab a weekly lunch. I remember her sewing room, frogs all over the place (she collected them), lots of green, her wish for my sister and me to get along (guess what Mom- it’s finally come true!), her love of the pool and sun, her incredible halloween parties (and costumes!), and all of her many friends that loved her so much. When she would play the piano her nails would click on the keys, so to this day I still love that sound. She could play so many songs on the piano because she had the ability to play by ear (I somehow missed her musical talent).
If I click my heels 3 times will I wake up and this be a dream?