Watching my mother with my daughter, I've learned the trick of singing songs with hand gestures. I've gotten better at making up silly games. And I've learned some big, critical lessons that have come to form the foundation of my own newborn journey into motherhood.
At moments I couldn't understand how she was so loved by everyone else when I had so much rage inside. But this physically beautiful woman who cared not a wit for her looks was a spark, a ditzy, outrageous non-conformist who made life for others light up like fireworks.
I try to talk to my mother every day (and if I don't, she calls me!). She has taught me tolerance, patience, caregiving, and unconditional love. She was the original calm and assertive person in my life.
My mother Hallie passed away this month at age 68. She was beautiful, smart, curious, compassionate, and rebellious, a compulsive reader and a talented psychotherapist. But of all her attributes, none surpassed her capacity to laugh.