It has been two years today since my mother died, a fact that astounds me. We were with her when she passed in the early hours of February 2nd (a beautiful bit of grace for which I am immensely grateful), and after going to bed at 5 a.m., I remember waking a couple of hours later in full awareness that I had to get up, lift my head and walk bravely through the next few days. We knew without even discussing it our first task was the most difficult: developing the list of Mom’s most special friends and calling them personally to let them know the sad news. We wrote down name after name after name and divided it up, my three brothers and I, and still the calls took us all day. It was an inexhaustible list, and it brought us to the first great realization about our mother: She was widely beloved because she had the ability to make each and every person she met feel special–and even more so–special to her.
I’ve thought a lot about this in recent months, such a gift I believe it to be. Mom was a wonderful conversationalist who took a great interest in whatever was going on in your life. Stop by for a quick visit with Posey Rigg and she’d light up a cigarette, ask a question and two hours later you’d still be sitting there telling her your stories. Nothing pleased her more.
But she was not simply a charmer, let me be clear about that. She had no filter, our Mother, and without a second thought she would pose–outright–questions the rest of the world wouldn’t dare ask. She also offered her own (strong) opinions quite freely–an honesty that, in some strange way, actually put you more at ease.
(You never had to wonder what Posey was thinking, that’s for sure.)
Our family’s beloved minister, George Aichel, opened his remembrance at her funeral by saying this:
Eliza Rose Sutton (Posey) Rigg was a woman who said what she thought and meant what she said.
The congregation laughed and I laughed, too, a beautiful, gentle acknowledgement that filled me with pride and love and peace.
So true I thought. So Mom.