Now for a completely different type of post, I thought I'd post about the person that has had the greatest influence in my life, my mother. My mother ran the household and I was the poster child for a "Mama's Boy" complete with often favoring my mother over my father in most situations. I often would volunteer my mom to drive on school trips and she usually worked midnights so she would get home at 8 in the morning, just the right time to see me watching TV and get me to school for 9. My mom worked as a nurse, so she was a rather knowledgeable person and often I'd hear about someone asking for help with this problem or that. My mom was also an intensely private person, who could compartimentalize like nobody's business. It was rather remarkable to notice this about my mom along with how she could be pleasant to almost everyone.
My mom's health took a turn for the worse in the Fall of 2002, which just happened to coincide with my father's quadruple bypass so they were both in the hospital together. My father for heart surgery while my mother had cancer. She lost a dramatic amount of weight and her voice really changed a great deal when I last saw her alive in November 2001 which was only a couple months after 9/11 so flying wasn't an easy thing to do this time. However, back I went to say good-bye to my mama and sure enough just before the end of January the next year she passed away. I scramble to fly back for the funeral and oy was this ever a hard time in my life. Her funeral was on the exact anniversary of my first working day in Seattle 4 years earlier, which struck me as ironic that day that I even remember telling the pastor that ran the service about that. This weekend is a ceremony for my aunt that just passed away that somehow I don't quite have the same reaction. Not even close, though I'm not sure if my faith is mostly responsible or if the relationship distance is the reason. By relationship distance I mean that I wasn't that close with this aunt, even though she did call me, "Boogus" a lot! I'm not sure I was ever really comfortable with that name, but that is what she'd normally want to call me.