by Lillian Csernica on July 29, 2019
On Friday we held the memorial service for my mother at Pacific Gardens Chapel. More than a dozen people attended. Given the perils of weekend traffic during a Santa Cruz summer, I was grateful to see so many friends of our family make the effort to honor Mom’s memory. This was in addition to the presence of my brother, whom I have not seen since my wedding 31 years ago this month.
More family and friends sent flowers, among them white roses with blue hydrangea, a basket of roses the red of garnets, and one of those big sprays of spider mums and daisies and greenery. The flowers made the chapel even more beautiful, all of it centering on a photo of Mom taken from the days when she worked in music videos and as an extra in movies and TV. That photo, a cheerful headshot, let us mourners remember my mother as the person she was, the lively personality inside that body so weakened by illness.
My brother spoke about Mom making the most of every little thing they had when my brother was growing up. My husband talked about how many ways Mom expressed her creativity, through art and acting and singing and even stand-up comedy. I gave Mom credit for teaching me one of life’s most important lessons: Try everything! I’ve done my best to teach my boys do that so they don’t miss out on something they never knew they’d enjoy.
These last few months of Mom’s life have been so hard. Now she’s in a better place, free of the body that kept breaking down and causing her so much pain. Mom can rest in peace, knowing how much we all loved her.
Yesterday I sat in my favorite coffeehouse and wrote for close to an hour. Then I switched notebooks and went on writing about something else entirely. I haven’t done that much writing in a single sitting in far too long.
It’s time for me to get some rest too, then go on living the life my mother encouraged me to live.