My mother was a teacher in the art of being joyful. She understood the importance of having fun. She taught me how to make s'mores, sit-upons, and sourdough bread. Not just in girl scout camp, either.
When I was a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old, she threw me a birthday party. We invited every girl in my class and she taught us all how to make dresses using newspaper and stick pins.
The summer I was 15 or 16 we found an old buffet in a barn. We spent a day (at least!) antiquing it... Blue. It was a fun, funky piece of furniture that sat in the hall outside her kitchen for the rest of her life. Every time I looked at it I remembered how much fun we had painting it.
Once, when my mother was in her eighties, we went to lunch together. She ordered soup, and a glass of white wine. "Don't you want a sandwich?" I asked.
"Not today," she answered, " I'm having the chocolate cake for dessert!"
When we left the restaurant, it was raining. My mother took off her shoes and splashed, laughing, through the puddles back to the car.
In September, 2001, after 5 heart attacks in 6 weeks, there was nothing to do but hospice, and she rode home in an ambulance to die. When she was wheeled out of the ambulance she said, " That was so much fun, looking out the window backwards!" She laughed and laughed.
My mother taught me that Joy is wherever you find it. She taught me how to make my own joy. She reminded me how much fun it is to splash in the puddles in my bare feet, and that it's. Okay to eat dessert first!
- ► 2012 (14)