I reached into my pocket of a jacket that I haven't worn in a long time, and I found this movie ticket that had "senior" written on it. I realized right away that the ticket stub belonged to my mother who died in July 2012 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Going to the movies together was one of the things that my mother and I enjoyed the most. This ticket probably signified the last time we ever went to the theater together. It would've been just after Christmas of 2011, one of her last trips to North Carolina from Pennsylvania. And while finding the ticket did bring tears to my eyes, it also made me smile remembering all the times that we truly enjoyed being together as mother and daughter.
I am getting better at reflecting on the good times with my mother as more time passes since her death. At first, my memories focused on her being sick and the time I spent caring for her before she died. But I am now more able to remember her with a smile and often with laughter.
Writing the book "The Living Room" about the time I spent caring for her, I think, has helped me to heal. It's allowed me to reflect on the wisdom and the inspiration that is often gleaned from tragedy. Instead of dreading the next reminder of my mother, I look forward to it and the positive reflection that comes along with it.