Today it was my grandmother whom I remembered. All Souls Day is special, but I remember my granny every day.
No one would ever accuse her of being delicate or fragile. She was strong, fiercely protective, and one of the most fun, free-spirited people I have ever known. Living life fully is the legacy she left her family.
There was always room for one more at her table, and enough food in the pot for one more. She was generous and giving, and thrived on adventure and curiosity. She gave us tradition, taught us the true meaning of love, and backed down from no one and nothing. She was simply amazing.
As a single woman, I could not have asked for a better role model or mentor. She has been gone almost 15 years, and she remains the strongest influence in my life. She was the mother I never had.
Today a friend of mine had to make funeral arrangements for her own mother.
My mother died this year too. These two women never met, but seem to have one thing in common; they had terrible relationships with their daughters.
The only thing I mourned when my mother died was the long-forgotten hope that perhaps one day I would have a loving, caring mother, instead of the one who knowingly allowed the sexual, emotional and physical abuse of her child.
On the day of her funeral, I woke up, wondered at what an absolute waste her life was, and toasted her with a mimosa. I prayed that her soul might finally be set free from the misery of her own creation.
Had my classmate not let us know her own mother had died, I would not have been thinking of the woman who gave birth to me either.
All Souls Day offers us a chance to remember the difficult relationships in order to appreciate the good ones. It offers us a reminder that one day, we will also be gone, leaving nothing but a memory with those whom we love the most.
Raise a toast to those who have challenged you and even tried to devastate you. Get down on your knees and give thanks for those who raised you up, lived a life of purpose rooted in love, and gave you that little kick in the ass we all need to keep being kind and fabulous.