For as long as I can remember my mother placed this statue in a prominent position in her home. For the past year he has been standing in her hutch overlooking her room. For the past two weeks he stood happily over her bed as she left us. He is Hotei, sometimes called the laughing Buddha. According to Wikipedia, he is admired for his happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment. One belief popular in folklore maintains that rubbing his belly brings wealth, good luck, and prosperity.

Mom passed away on Friday of last week. She believed she would win the lottery, she soldiered on in optimism during calamaties, she laughed deeply and loudly when the spirit moved her. She never stopped learning and always looked toward the horizon, itching to travel.

She will be missed. And Hotei will always remind us to smile with joy and contentment as we move forward.


in honor of mom

my mom is sleeping in the next room. She has been sleeping for 4 days and will likely not wake up. She has been in hospice since February defying all odds. Taking this time in my life to care for her and witness this journey has added a quiet layer of depth to my understanding of life. Today I told her again that I loved her and that she was generous in her teachings and loyal and supportive to each of her children. She was loved and is already missed by many.

What strikes me now though is how much she challenged the norm. She worked like no other I know, holding down night jobs and still attending PTA meetings. Organizing neighbors and friends to create a stronger community at the same time as tirelessly sewing new costumes for school plays or halloween (and did I mention she did this while working full time?). She never stopped learning and spoke often of how important that was. She could gut a fish, crochet lace, build a quilt and laugh when we decided to build a fort underground, lending us extra shovels. She found ways to give without needing to be acknowledged. And, though she often disagreed with us, she respected our decisions and knew we had to make our own way without interference.

This mother's day weekend is a special one for me. One that challenges my understanding of what it is to be alive, but also one that is full of love.

my mentor, my guide, my cheerleader

2013I have spent the last couple of months taking care of my mom, who is in hospice. She is an amazing, spirited, challenging force of nature. I love her more than I can say and she has taught me more than I think I know.


My mom is making these lovely cards from discarded quilt scraps. She adds crazy quilt stitches, chooses a card stock to match and then sews the patch to a window in the card. Each one is unique. She's having a great time making them. Our local restaurant/gift shop, Stone Soup, is selling them. Bravo Mom!