Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

A lesson on loss from my friend's mom…

By Becky Andrews

I sat in the passenger seat and made small talk with Sylvia. It was the morning after a sleepover at my friend Paula’s house. At 15 years-old that meant Paula’s mom Sylvia, had to take me home. First, we had to make a detour. Sylvia made a right turn into the closest entrance of the local cemetery. After parking, she opened her handbag and grabbed a greeting card, a piece of pink saran wrap and a plastic fork.

While she fussed with the greeting card and saran wrap, the small talk drifted, and the car became very quiet. I didn’t have a cell phone or iPad to keep my eyes and mind distracted. Nope. It was just me, Sylvia, and the rustling sound of plastic wrap.

It felt like we had been sitting in silence for at least 30 minutes, but my blue faced Swatch indicated it had only been two. Before I could let out a teenage, “why can’t we leave already, I’m so inconvenienced” sigh, Sylvia piped up and said, “This is the hardest day for me.”

She wasn’t saying it to me as much as she was giving herself a pep talk or maybe a short affirmation to let her mind know, “hey, it’s me. This is supposed to feel rotten. You just go through it, girl. We’ll get through this like we always do. Until then, don’t be too hard on yourself.”

When she finished wrapping the card in saran wrap, Sylvia exited the car and walked to a nearby tombstone. She knelt then secured the plastic wrapped greeting card with the plastic fork at the foot of a grey-flecked stone.

She stood there for no more than a minute. When the cloudy sky started spitting out a slow drizzle, she walked back to the car. After plugging in her seat belt, Sylvia turned to look at me. “It’s hard losing your mom, kid. It’s hard losing your mom.” Paying no mind to the clouds, she put on her sunglasses, and we drove away.

I didn’t know what to say or IF I should say something. I just looked at my friend’s mom and studied her tear stained cheeks.

She didn’t know how to celebrate the day made exclusively for the person who brought her into this world. She was feeling Mother’s Day like she had never felt it before. It didn’t matter that she was a grown woman and a mom herself. It mattered that her person-her mom-wasn’t here. She wasn’t just “Paula’s mom” that morning. She was a daughter.

The small talk picked up shortly after pulling away from the cemetery. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled into my driveway. I said thank you and jumped out. Before reaching the front door, Sylvia shouted, “See ya later, Kiddo!” Just like she always did.

I knew then that I wouldn’t forget this otherwise unmemorable trip home from a sleepover. And I never have.

In August of 2004, nearly 15 years after that morning car ride with Sylvia, I became a card-carrying member of the Motherless Child Club. Since then, the heaviness inside me cracks open every year around this time. I also think about that car ride. I think about how at 15 years-old, I witnessed a daughter delicately navigating her way through the grief of losing her mom. I think about how that short drive home on a dreary Saturday taught me that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to not understand the timing of grief or know how to deal with the waves.  It’s even ok to give side-eye to all the mother/daughter duos eating at the table next to you on Mother’s Day. Just deal and don’t hide from it. Because hiding from uncomfortable feelings is as productive and enjoyable as taking a one-year-old to a Mother’s Day Brunch.

So, no matter what your day looks like this year, enjoy it on your terms (even if it includes giving side-eye to anyone). Your mom would want it that way.

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

Saying Goodbye to Mini-Me

By Angel Kane

At the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year, I had a friend tell me how excited she was about
her son’s Senior Year. “There are so many things to look forward to. Parties, proms and of
course, graduation,” she gushed.

To which I responded, “You know this movie ends badly, right? I’ve seen it before and in the
end, the prince and princess leave you. The End!”

She was a newbie. I had to set her straight. And in the next few weeks, she’ll join our sad little
club.

Soon, our Number 2 will be leaving the nest, just like her sister did.

Number 1 is blond and green-eyed, with a heart of gold like her daddy.

Number 2 is all mine. A little darker, a little tougher, a little mouthier. I know what she’s thinking
before she says it because I’m thinking it too!

Oh, the dreams I have for her.

Most times when I’m talking to her, I feel like I’m talking to my younger self. She rolls her eyes
and doesn’t want to hear it. Much like I didn’t want to. And that’s ok because if life has taught
me anything, it’s that in the end, we all figure it out.

Some do so with more bumps and bruises. My fervent prayer for her is that none of those
bruises leave permanent marks. So, as my Mini-Me gets ready to go, I hope she’ll remember
what I’ve learned thus far…

Keep Moving. Go, go, go. Keep one foot in front of the other even if you don’t know where
you’re going. Get out of bed each morning, wash your face, and for goodness sake do your hair!
Go to work, go to class, just go and then get up the next day and go again and then again and
again. In life, one thing always leads to another. And those that wait, end up waiting a lifetime.

Don’t Be A Snot. It always amazes me how people think they can be ugly and then get their
way. It might work for a minute, but not for much longer than that. And it makes you feel bad
anyway. You will find the kinder you are, the better you’ll feel. People may accuse you of being
too nice, but those are people who don’t know the peace it brings to not constantly be at war.

Don’t Take It. So being kind, doesn’t mean being a pushover. Sadly, some people are just bad
people. They push and shove through life. These people will treat you poorly and when they do,
you need to call them on it and then walk away. Because if you take it, it will chip at your soul.
Your soul is all you’ve got. Protect it at all costs.

Don’t Ever Argue Over Money. Your grandfather’s side of the family taught me this. They didn’t
have a lot, but they were generous with everything they did have and it’s come back to our
family 1000 fold. If a friend thinks you owe them a dollar, give them two. Pick up the tab, help a
friend out, be generous with what you have to everyone you meet. It’s the only way to be.

Eat Right. I know I tell you all the time, that sugar is the devil and you don’t believe me. But it is!
Your same wise grandfather always told me, that you can have everything in moderation. But
not sugar. He was wrong about sugar!

Have Some Quiet Time. You are about to embark on a time in your life where you’ll have the
least amount of quiet time. And that’s ok because you’ll have the energy for it. But every so
often, while your roommate is out, stay in. Especially if it’s a rainy night. Oh, those are the best!
Get a book, get under the covers and just enjoy the quiet. And if you do this, be sure to eat
some sugar. Cookies in bed don’t count.

No One Can Make You Happy. They can make life easier. They can make life more fun. But
happiness is something only you can find. And the secret to finding it, only you can answer. I
know, what a cop-out answer right? But it’s the truth because my happy is not your happy. My
happy is sitting on the porch at 5:30 am writing this article. Your Dad’s happy is staying up late
to read Realclearpolitics.com. Find your own happy and don’t get in the way of someone else’s.

Watch Your Words. Things that are said, cannot be unsaid. You can say “I’m sorry”, but those
ugly words will always be out there. So hold your tongue. I’ve learned this the hard way and 20
years later still regret things I’ve said. So if need be, bite your tongue until it bleeds. I promise,
tomorrow you’ll be glad you did.

Speak It and It Will Happen. This goes back to the power of words. I know it sounds trite. But
I’m a true believer in speaking what you want. Put it out there. And then watch it happen. Say it
out loud and be positive about it. Once you’ve put it out into the universe, the world has a funny
way of hearing it and bringing it to your door.

Always Talk to Strangers. Growing up, I’d cringe as I’d watch my parents talk to anyone,
anywhere. And then I grew up and did the same. You’ve got a double dose of my side of the
family so you might as well realize that deep down, you will love this too! This world is filled with
billions of people, don’t you want to know their story? Oh, the things you will learn. Stick your
hand out, introduce yourself and then wait to hear who they are, where they’re from and how
they got there.

Home Will Always Be Here. Dad and I had many many failings. We worked too much, bought
take-out way too often, and yelled more than was needed. But you see, as you were growing
up, so were we. It’s just how this funny world works. And while we don’t have all the answers, by
now, we do have a few. When life gets tough, come home. We can help you figure it out.
And then when we’re done figuring it out, it will be time for you to leave again. You’ll want to stay
but our job will be to make you go. Don’t worry, though, you are ready for this, and so are we.

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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