Tutu would never.

The dead are lucky in their abundance of reverence…or rather revered-ness. Especially as time moves on, that reverence grows. The sharper edges dull and what’s left is the best of the lost.

Memories (and retellings) of the tougher, graceless moments fade as we focus closer and closer on the highlight reel.

My mom, and my memories of her, and retellings of her glory are no exception. There are absolutely outtakes in her reel, bloopers that were far from funny. Moments that I know without question she’d want forgotten.

She was human after all. Complicated, beautiful, brilliant, warm, creative, rarely wrong, and sometimes wrong. Still, the stories I share with her grandkids are sweetly devoid of the mistakes.

Do you know what Tutu did when Aunt Devon and I said we were bored?

Do you know what Tutu told me when I told her I’d live on the moon someday?

Let me tell you what Tutu said when I came home crying…

The kids have gobbled them up. They’re part of our lore. Refrains in our little family’s anthem.

Tutu would have done…

Tutu would have said…

Tutu would never…

Tutu would never say, “stop crying.” She’d say, “scream in your pillow.”

“Kick that tree.”

“Write this down.”

“Exhale.”

“Put one unhappy foot in front of the other less unhappy foot, and keep moving.”

“Feel the wind and smell the rain coming.”

“Find something funny and laugh.”

She would never have left if she had the choice.

She would never, could never, have been a better mom than she was to Dev and me.

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