I Remember Mama

TODAY IN 2000 the lady who brought me into this life left it.

Pneumonia was listed as the cause of death, but she was really killed by Alzheimer’s, a disease that, to all intents and purposes, had already taken her life back in 1993. What died in 2000 was not my mother, although I mourned her again when her body finally passed, and I was shocked by the depth of pain I felt at her demise. I thought I had already grieved for her during the seven years of her mental and spiritual extinguishment.

My mother was a natural comedian. If you’ve seen Woody Allen in a movie—particularly the early, funny ones—you’ve met her, in a way. The comedy was a defense against a despair she could never shake—because of what happened to her father, because of what happened to the boy she loved when she was a teenager, because because.

My mother loved her children more than anything, which is a big reason I love myself and can love others.

If there is a heaven, she is in it, and if she is in it, she is surprised and pissed off and complaining.

My mother never met my daughter, but I am startled by the ways my daughter sometimes reminds me of the grandmother she never knew.

Hi, Mom.

By L. Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek. Author, Designer, Founder. Employer Brand at Automattic. Publisher, & Ava’s dad. Pete’s brother (RIP). He/him.

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