Well, this is turning into a hell of a spring.
I’m okay with isolation, especially since nature is waking up and smelling the forsythia, but the news is kneecapping me, all the “this is going to get much, much worse” stuff from American media that is undoubtedly true and necessary to get people like me to put on a face mask. My house is dragging me down; it’s time to throw out everything, I’m thinking, well okay, not everything, you know, just a lot of it. I’m out of bok choy and celery. And then Monday, my mother died.
JoAnn Katherine Smith was 93, one month short of her 94th birthday.
Jo was a strong woman who embraced the fifties ideal of womanhood with a passion that brought us into headlong collision over and over. My friends from high school are writing to tell me their memories of how beautiful she was, how gracious she was, how bright her eyes were. I remember how hard she worked, how perfect her house and her hair always were, her steely determination and her old-fashioned values like be nice to everybody who isn’t family, pay your bills on time, never lie, never cheat, you are how you look so never go out in curlers, and always wear clean underwear or people will think your mother didn’t raise you right when you get hit by a truck. I am who I am because of my mother. And the eleven therapists who followed her.
I’m not in mourning because I’m happy that Jo is finally free of the prison that dementia had made of her body and her mind, and if there’s a heaven, she’s back in the fifties, drinking cocktails in a designer sheath, surrounded by adoring men and jealous women, beautiful as ever, sexy as all hell, and nobody is telling her what to do.
Rest in peace, Jo.