The word is sashay.
It might be the only word in all of the dictionary brave enough to take on her way of walking.
The only word without knocking knees when it comes to embodying enough potential to describe the poised motion of my mother as she floated from crowd to crowd at her surprise 60th birthday party this past weekend.
Sashaying across the floor as if she were still 22.
“I was on the way to the doctor the other day because of chest pain that thankfully was just reflux,” she told the group of nearly 100 guests . “And I am driving and panicking, wondering, ‘Did I tell everyone that I love them? Did I?’ But you are all here tonight and I have chance to tell you now!”
My mother is rare in that sense.
In the sense that she is given a party and she uses it as a chance to let others know that she loves them.
In the sense that her own world could be finding ways to crumble and she’ll stay wondering if the people around her know themselves loved enough.
She is rare in the sense that she will have you tripping over Piles of Love on your way out to the grocery store; in the sense that you will end up making a list of all the people in your life that need to hear “I love you” today instead of remembering to put the apples in the cart or check granola bars off the list.
She is rare in the sense that she could point out just how many times in a day we may say “I Love You” but that it really pales in comparison to showing it. In order to love, and love really, we sometimes need to ditch the words. Leave the Love Letters Behind and Raise Up Our Hands To Love In Action Like Shadow Figures Upon the Wall. Bring Love Forth With Presence. Awareness. Kindness. Understanding. Loyalty. Patience. Even when we would rather just say three words and move on for the day. Especially when nothing inside of us brews with an inclination to show love to others.
She is rare in the sense that she only needs to move three steps before she is shaking love off through her sway and leaving others absolutely wrapped with her easy companionship. A woman who leaves a trail of adoration wherever she goes like the glitter upon greeting cards that always ends up on your Fingers. Your Dress. Your Face. Your Notebooks. Your Collar. Your Lap.
She is rare in the sense that she only needs 30 seconds or so to prove to you that “to love” is to Love in Color. Love Out Loud. Love in Silence. Love in Motion. Love Regardless. Love Unconditionally.
She’ll make your fingernails ache from loving others.
She’ll make your elbows sore from loving so fully.
And she will give you every reason under her bright, bright sun to believe that you don’t need a holiday or a box of chocolates to begin right now.
Happy 60th Birthday Mom.
Short & Sweet. But as I wrote before: it is not so easy to find words confident enough to represent you. After a good deal of coaxing and bribing words out of the crooks of the dictionary I was able to find a few. Regardless, it is already very clear: There are no words when it comes to you and all you have instilled within me.
Love & Miss you already.