The Sisterhood of the Waves
At 2:35 p.m. on March 4, 2011, I soared over the ocean in a Ferris wheel.
I seldom remember what I was doing any given day, let alone any hour or minute, but this was a moment I needed to spend laughing.
My mom had died one year ago that very minute, and I wanted to make sure I spent that minute’s entirety remembering not how my mom died, but how she lived. We’d laughed together on that Ferris wheel on her one vacation. That very same trip, she’d shouted for me and Jay Leno to get a “chin shot, chin shot!” on account of our mutually sizable chins.
Today I visited the ocean. As one toddler held my hand and splashed in the shallowest water, I remembered his older brother doing the same the afternoon we rode that Ferris wheel.
Li’l D was then the age Littler J is now.
I smiled. Mom used to take my siblings and I to the ocean as often as she had energy and gas money for it. She loved standing where ocean meets land, so that I feel her in my every ocean visit, though I seldom jump in the water myself these days.
As today’s trip wound down, a friend and I rushed the water while our husbands watched our kids. “We should never be too grown up to do this!” my friend exclaimed before disappearing under the water.
I kicked my feet out behind me and pressed them together, flipping them around as if I was a mermaid in a game my younger sister and I used to play. I dove under the water and let my feet drift to the surface. I floated there on the water for a few moments–or was it an eternity?–and watched the sun dancing over the water just beyond my purple toenails.
Neither of my sisters was there, but they were.
My mom was not-there and there, too.
“We are The Sisterhood of the Waves,” I said to the sky, thinking of my mom and my sisters and the girlfriends who stood in the ocean with me the summer I knew I’d someday make Los Angeles my home and my friend there with me today.
When I waded out of the water, I felt how my body still rocked as if I were still submerged, and as I continue to rock even now. I grinned. I love how the ocean reminds me it’s still there even when I can’t see it.
It’s like that with people, too, I decided as I patted sand off my toddler.
I can’t see my mom. I can’t touch my mom. But I am still,
and will forever be, swaying in her tide,
exuberantly, joyously, and eternally
part of her Sisterhood of the Waves.
A month ago,
I told you how my younger sister
lifted our mom into and was the light
as Mom died.
I then told you,
in much more detail
than I ever have before,
what it was like to lose Mom
in mind before losing her
The first post is here;
there’s a navigation bar at its bottom
that will take you to the next post.
as I splashed in the water
with my boys, my younger sister, Rache,
shared a little of her
Loss(es) of a Mother.
If you read the post,
which I hope you will,
I think you will understand
why I described my mom as being
lifted into and by
And I think you will understand that,
though my siblings and I shared many
we were greatly blessed
to have each other,
and remain so