Happy Spring to our wonderful GlobalGiving Community,
April will always be a special month for our family and begins what we called 'birthday season.' My mother's birthday opened the season on April 12th; my sister Devon followed later in April, then all the boys in May. This has remained true with many of the next generations of birthdays, but to all of us, my Mom's b-day still opens the season ;)
This June will mark six years since I lost my mom. Many friends had suggested I read Joan Didion’s, The Year of Magical Thinking much earlier in my grieving process, but I had not been ready. But this past year was different, and I dove in - I found it excruciating, necessary, beautiful, and liberating. Below is a letter she recounts receiving from a friend after her mother died.
The death of a parent, he wrote, "despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and that may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago.” - Joan Didion.
In these past two years, so many close friends and family of mine have lost loved ones. I found myself writing notes, emails, and letters like this - sending love and offering advice. Something about this dislodged new feelings and memories that had not yet surfaced in grieving my Mom. I feel especially full of love, preparing to celebrate my mother's life in sync with the opening of Spring - the flowers, the warmth, the new life - always reminding all of us of my beautiful mother.
Here is a link to a video I have shared before in celebration of spring and my mother’s life and birthday: https://vimeo.com/212967011. These images were filmed by her parents, Chauncey Steele and Marian Williams Steele, my father, Ed White, and scenes I filmed from The Genius of Marian.
I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday, Happy Spring!
Sending gratitude and love to all of you, who have supported our project, who have supported me and my family, and who are mourning and loving and remembering all the people in our lives who have made us who we are.