May 10, 2017 11:54pm
For Emiko Oka Mottys October 10, 1931 - May 10, 2017
Survived by her daughter and three grandchildren.
It’s so difficult for me to believe this is the last time I will see you.
And now you are gone. I turn around and I think you are there still laying in your bed. I tiptoe as if not to wake you. I wake up as if my alarms I set to caretake for you are still needed.
All I ever wanted for you was to be happy. Your happiness was my happiness. I loved you and looked up to you so much. I was proud of you. I am sorry for I know you struggled so much in your life. I know with all my heart you were let down over and over again by people you were supposed to be able to trust.
We don’t always say the right thing, do we? And we learn valuable lessons way too late. I am sorry for leaving you and resenting you and really just not appreciating you for who you were - your crass and tough exterior did not hide your frail and kind soul inside. You had probably been pulled and pushed in so many directions you didn’t even know who you were anymore and so you lost your mind. I am sorry I could not make you stronger.
But you were strong. You worked so hard for our livelihood … which, actually, wasn’t very lively, but you did it. You did a great job taking care of me. I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have enjoyed the little things and more importantly, I would have helped you enjoy the little things or maybe done them with you and I would have forgave your obsession with doing dishes and keeping house and working long, long hours. All the gardening you did and walking is free and cooking that you loved and your tasteless humor - and I wouldn’t have wanted more. Not for you and not for me.
I know the feeling of being alone and of having nothing. I tried to show you how much I loved you and I tried to be a good daughter.
Do you remember when I washed your car in the parking lot of Truffles while you were at work to surprise you? I think you said I’d missed a spot or two after careful examination of the mint green 1973 Cutlass Supreme. Or what about the time I left school at lunch to bring you flowers? Was that your birthday? I took so long I got in trouble when I got back. But maybe we we can never be perfect in our mother’s eyes? I wanted your friends to know you were not alone and that you were loved.
That little girl is gone now and I don’t know who I am sometimes. But I’m glad you died peacefully. I know I didn’t get everything right and I know I’d get frustrated, but I think I got this right and when you were ready to let go you were in no pain and surrounded with a boisterous crowd of family who loved you at home. You were in no pain when there was nothing more to do here on Earth. But I will miss you.
I’ll miss all the scrambled egg and smoothie making, all the card games and tv shows. Remember when you broke your back and you were in that horrible rehab the first time? Those nurses were so surprised you could play cards! Oh how we underestimate people. They saw you as nothing more than a bed number I suppose when you were a multidimensional human being with varied interests and hobbies that they really didn’t even bother to get to know! But … we all do our best, don’t we? Maybe - to quote a friend - good enough isn’t good enough after all. Yes, we can do better. I’m still traumatized from the last time you were there. The quality of care has declined rapidly.
I am 45 now and you were just 5 years younger when you had me and just 6 years older when you decided to venture out on your own with me. I know that was scary for you. For the next coming decades you worked your ass off so we could get by. I am glad you got to see and spend time with your grandchildren and to know your in-laws. I can still hear Dan’s voice when they’d come over, “EH-MEH!” like a loud thundering boom. They always had something to share, a new quilt or new recipe or game or memory jar full of cut up strips of paper because she saw it on Oprah. Joan was always so loving. So loving to you. To all of us. You too were so loving and so generous of the heart. We were lucky. I don’t think anyone could have asked for more.
I keep thinking, How could you die?! You know you’ve been saying that to me for 30 of my years? Maybe you said that because you were so depressed or stressed - and with good reason. How could you die?! You’ve been saying that for so long and you never died before! How could you … just … I mean, what am I going to do without you to worry about, to call me home, to BE THERE for me? How could you die? Part of me just doesn’t understand. I mean, after all this time. You are free.
I imagine a thousand white candles burning and a thousand paper whites blooming and a thousand white roses at your feet and at your head and your eyes are closed and you are restored to your self again and at peace. And I know when I look at these pictures of you that you led a wild and crazy youth and you lived your life - those were just never things I saw when we were together in this short time. I'm glad you led a good life despite the struggles you endured. These good and sweet memories I will cherish. You will be so missed. You were my rock. And now you are my sun and moon and star and you are the love in my heart. I love you , mom. Know that I love you.