Today, in my head and heart, my sister and I are feeling the wild winds of the Pali Lookout. Holding hands as we stand at the cliff’s edge. The force of the wind presses against us like a full body hug, giving form to our thoughts of her. And we’re shouting into the current, Happy Birthday, Mommy. We miss you.
Today she would have been 65. A milestone year for sure. There would have been a party, there would have been stories told, there would have been…her, holding us and smelling the napes of our necks and our children’s necks, telling us that the smell of us is for favorite sensory input. Her smell is my favorite too. The smell of her kalbi ribs in the oven, of the constantly burning candles in her home, and the smell of her tea rose perfume. I’m wearing it today and it’s just lovely.
4 years ago her sister and best friend, my sister and I, each of our husbands and her grandchildren carried her ashes to the Pali Lookout. She joined her brother there, and we cried and laughed as the crazy winds blew the ashes down over the valley of a place she loved…and a little bit right back on us.
And as our mostly somber little hiking party filed back toward the rental van to continue the trip down mommy-memory-lane, my two year old daughter stepped in dog shit. Then she spread it like finger paint all over my jacket. And we laughed some more.
One of the best gifts she gave us was the ability, and permission, to laugh through life’s inevitable dog shit. So cheers and happy birthday, Mommy. I promise I laughed today.