My Mom was killed in a car accident. Hmm...this is something I never say aloud and not because I know it makes the listener uncomfortable or instantly sorry but because unless the listener has experienced the despair of a sudden trauma like this, there really isn't any point. I am not interested in anyone feeling sorry for me, just someone who understands. And so after my Mom died, I relied most upon the words of friends who had lost their parents this same way. Tamber, Faith, Bato and Mike. And I want to thank anyone who was in close proximity to me at that time (Tim, Jennifer, Michelle, Andy, Leilani, Nancy... my students). I know it was ugly. Yuck...I hate to think about that time. But the most comforting words spoken by anyone in the days after her death were from a total stranger, a man who was building the house next door to my parent's house. He rang the doorbell in the early morning of January 1st. When we answered the door he took off his hat and folded it in his hands, looked up with a quivering chin and said, "I am so fucking sorry." Those words have meant a lot to me these last 9 years. They define the magnitude of the tragedy of her death, the reality of which cannot be explained here.
Also, I just want to say a public thank you to Margaret and Gordon (Tim's parents). Every year on this day they send me flowers. This lovely remembrance plus their beautiful words about my Mom are a bright spot on a cold, dark day. Thank you M&G for your love and remembering her.