The Matriarch

Truly she was our Matriarch.

Besides the fact that she loved to remind us we were all here thanks to her, she was strong. Like, really. Strong is one of the first words I would use to describe her. She had a hard life, and she was tough as nails because of it. Sweet or nice were never her identifiers. She was feisty, spunky, a spitfire full of personality. You only had to meet her once to know it. She didn’t take any bullshit. She was brutally honest, often to a fault. She was even more stubborn. She was mischievous and could muster up a lie in an instant and never feel ashamed about it. She was the worst secret keeper ever. And she always sped when she drove.

She loved sweets and could throw down some chocolate. She adored sunflowers. I wish with everything I had I would have swiped her sunflower placemats before she moved off to Portland a few years ago. Either way, they’ll always remind me of her now. She loved tequila. She would take her pills with a beer. She love scrabble more than anyone I ever met. Her turntable scrabble board will be a family heirloom, likely cherished above all else. She loved it because she was smart. She knew all the words you could know. She loved playing any game and winning. I loved her for that. When I close my eyes I see her in Homer, at the kitchen table in the chair by the window. She sat there religiously. She loved Clinique Happy. She thought my husband was “pretty.” She loved to remind me that I couldn’t speak Spanish. I loved to remind her that it was her fault! God she was funny. Truly a presence. And she had the most beautiful smile.

I used to think she’d live to be at least a hundred. She was so sharp. She was too sharp, and it frustrated her that her physical self couldn’t keep up with her mind. She absolutely hated being old. She had no patience for it. Losing independence was not an option for her.

Truly she was our Matriarch.

She did things on her own terms. She lived a full life, and ultimately, she decided when it was time to go. I wasn’t at all surprised when she finally left us. So why does it hurt so, so much?

The best way I can describe it is that the world just feels so much LESS without her.

 

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