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It doesn't hurt

Today, my mother would have turned 70.

I just realized it a moment ago when I typed the date on something. March 20th. My mom's birthday. For fourteen years, this day has been painful, melancholy, or at the very least wistful.

Today . . . nothing. Not that I don't still miss her, but there's no pain. No regret, no ache of loss, no wishing she were still here—or at least no more than usual. It's nice, actually. I can remember her with a genuine smile, untainted by hurt or grief.

So here's to Lani Rose Jeansdottir, formerly Lani Rosenberger, born Lani Joan Hopkins on the 20th of March, 1946. She was awesome. And difficult. And infuriating. She embodied so many opposites—brilliant, but short-sighted; kind, but selfish; tolerant, but prejudiced; supportive, but controlling—and in that regard she was just like everyone else.

I still miss her. And I'm still glad that she died without pain, surrounded by friends and family. And I still regret that I wasn't there, but that's a story for a different day.

Requiescat in pacem, Mom.

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