The Blogger Idol people asked contestants to introduce themselves by writing their own eulogy. They also invited those of us who were already axed from the competition to contribute. As a ghost in the machine, “also ran,” how could I resist?
To be delivered by MotherJam’s aggrieved son, aged 88, sometime after February of 2093:
How could the lady who couldn’t convince me to put my socks on (you’ll note that I am barefoot today) and who, well into adulthood, still cried when she thought about not being invited to a birthday party in 7th grade—How could she ever be so competent to achieve such a feat?
This is the lady who never learned to cook.
This is the person who spent my youth storming around the house and announcing, One of these days I am going to get this place cleaned up!–and never did.
This is the woman who got an epidural about 20 seconds into labor.
Who knew she had such strength to stay alive so long?
When I was growing up she always claimed to be on the verge of a heart attack. Every time my sister and I refused to hold her hand in a parking lot and, later, every time we were out even a minute past curfew she claims we almost killed her. In fact, if she is to be believed, we were responsible for her near demise about 3 million times before we turned 21.
But we didn’t kill her. Nor did her absolute and unwavering contempt for Time Warner Cable, a company which really should have passed in 2013 when it was unable to provide anything to its customers other than long hold times and an “appreciation” for their patience.
Oh how I am sad she is gone! Devastated, really. She was pretty awesome. A nice person with big dreams that never quite came true. A great person. And not just because she would be horrified by the number of sentence fragments here.
She loved life almost as much as she loved coffee. She was a good talker and a much better secret keeper. A great friend but a little scattered. Up for anything but maybe not the best at making plans.
She loved me and my sister more than anything. And despite her inability to get us dressed in a timely manner or to convince us to ever use a napkin, she was a great mother. Not because she was full of sage advice or the right answers but because she let us pursue our own dreams and make our own mistakes.
She did this, for the most part, without interjecting her own aspirations. Sure, she was happy for me when I became a world renown architect/playwright/humanitarian and fire fighter. And she was delighted to see my sister bring a certain “Barbie in the White House” flair to her Presidency. But my sister and I both know that our mother would have been just as happy with us had we trod along more pedestrian avenues…So long as we were kind, didn’t litter, tried hard, and never lied except maybe to tell her yes, really, she was a good dancer.
Even though she has passed on, her legacy lives. I pledge to continue to alternate as I should in the ski lift line and to merge like a gentleman even though I am a driver from New Jersey.
I will miss her.
I will cry the next time the extreme oldies radio station plays Earth Wind and Fire and she is not going to be around to waive her cane and shout, “Watch me get jiggy with this one!” I will get a little misty when I hear “Midnight Train to Georgia” and understand, yes yes I know how she must have felt.
And yet, now that I am almost 90 years old and standing over her dead body I am more than a little psyched that I can finally go hang-gliding.
Thank you all for coming. She would be happy to see that so many cool people showed up.
That’s it. Now go check out the other entries at the blogging contest, vote for your favorite, and then tell me you liked mine more.