As I stand here today, I can’t reconcile the fact that Mom has died With the woman I knew. She was a force to be reckoned with, a force of Nature, and the quinticential matriarch. I hurtled myself at her thousands of times yet she stayed strong, unwavering. A mother. I didn’t realize how much I would miss her until now when its too late. The woman I saw on Monday evening was not the woman I knew in this life. Her essence was gone and we all know how much a woman she was. She gave me many things in this life – helped me when I needed, probably more than she should have. She encouraged me to be a strong woman. There was no way I \could fill her shoes – One sister is much better that. Two others still follow in her wake, – I was her antithesis. But even in this I defined myself by her measure. My sisters, aunt and I stood around her hospital bed and solemnly sweared we wouldn’t followed the same health choices she did. We agreed we would be closer to each other. Some of that has come true, some not. After she died, I moved to California to be close to my children. I just didn’t realize they would feel about me Finally, I realized I had to o back to Connecticut to be where family could help me out when needed and where I was wanted. In the course of looking for a new apartment ,I stayed in my mom’s bedroom for two months. I saw her life and the things that comprised it. My anger dissipated and we made peace. It was a tough one – one I couldn’t have survived. She was a remarkable, powerful woman and I had just been too angry to see. I miss her but I think she might be proud of me now.