I saw people at my mother’s funeral that I hadn’t seen in forty years. The last time we were together, I had pimples and I was thin with thick dark hair.
I have since evolved.
Now I’m thick with thinning gray hair, and the pimples are gone but the liver spots are blooming.
But I’m still here and I’m still me. I’m still humorous, musical, creative, passionate, loving, and enormously graceful on the dance floor (Remember I said I was still humorous?).
And to those who have been a part of my life, you haven’t gone away either. You are still with me in my mind. Our conversations, feelings, experiences… they’re still inside me. They are part of the mix that is my identity.
My mother died and I’m sad about it. But I share DNA with her. The memories, her words, laughter, tears, music, squabbles, and struggles… they stayed with me. I don’t have to wait for an unseen heaven to realize that she didn’t really leave me.
I’ve traveled a long way from where I spent most of my life, and I live more privately now. But my friends from childhood, churches, and other communities have stayed with me in my mind through all the big changes. I’ve had lots of tears and confusion but as they fade, I observe that I still have great love.
I’m still me and I’m still here. But I’m still evolving too.