Today was the first time Mom’s birthday came after her death. Death. I still have a hard time thinking of her that way, even though I saw her laid out in the funeral home. It didn’t look like her, not really, just someone’s idea of what she looked like.

I guess that’s because so much of what I remember about her was her eyes. She had rich deep brown eyes, which complemented the deep brown hair of her youth. She was a beautiful woman who expressed herself by the look in her eyes. Whether she was happy, sad, tired, or angry, you could see it in her eyes. The last week I was with her, you could see the pain and tiredness in her eyes. Sometimes she would get confused and when I didn’t understand her, I’d see that in her eyes too. But I remember when I left her that last time, and told her I loved her, that she looked out toward the window, not at me. Her eyes were trying to tell me things that words weren’t ready to say.