* Note to new readers (due to today’s sudden surge in traffic): This is my first post since my mother died of glioblasoma, a terminal form of brain cancer, last week. You can read the background here.

I was going to write this post as a just another post, but it ended up being kind of a post to my mom. I guess it’s fitting, considering it’s about her and me.

I always said I was a clone of you. 90% of me is you. How am I like you?

  1. momI look like you. I have since I was born. The only difference between your baby pictures and mine are that yours are in black and white.
  2. I sound like you. People haven’t been able to tell us apart on the phone since I was in middle school. Even at the shiva people kept thinking you were there.
  3. I have your mannerisms.
  4. I have your overbite.
  5. I have your Cheshire cat smile.
  6. I have your handwriting in every language we know. If we couldn’t remember writing something, we never knew which one of us wrote it (the cake signs at Cup O’ Joe).
  7. Like you, I type a million words per minute (mostly to keep up with my brain).
  8. Like you, my self esteem is practically non-existent. Nothing anyone says will ever change that.
  9. Like you, I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. When I’m here, I miss there. When I’m there, I miss here.
  10. Like you, I’m very easy to get along with.
  11. Like you, I have an eclectic taste in music. If certain artists knew who sang before and after them on our iPods, there would be trouble.
  12. Speaking of, I have your iPod. But I can’t bring myself to change its name from Mom’s iPod. So I won’t.
  13. Like you, I make friends easy, but am shy in social situations where I don’t know anyone.
  14. Like you, I am very careful about who I let into my life.
  15. Like you, I am constantly smiling and laughing, even if I’m not feeling it.
  16. Like you, if any liquid spills on the dinner table, regardless of where it is located in relation to me, it will always spill on me. Always.
  17. Like you, I am incredibly sensitive. My feelings get hurt so easily.
  18. Like you, I’m a natural born leader who would rather follow, but I have no problem taking the lead when necessary.
  19. Like you, I pick and choose my battles.
  20. Like you, I avoid confrontation as much as possible, even at the cost of losing a friend.
  21. Like you, I do not easily get angry or lose my temper, but when I do, you better watch out. Remember the time people actually called me to say they heard I got mad?
  22. Like you, I have that innate talent of choosing the one cart out of 7,000 at the supermarket that can’t go straight.
  23. Like you, I have no problem expressing my positive feelings. The negative/sad ones get kept inside.
  24. Like you, I don’t cry in public. Until you got sick, I only saw you cry twice. My one public cry prompted my friend O to write a blog post about it.
  25. Like you, I love cinnamon Trident.
  26. Like you, I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. You have 2 masters degrees, I only have one, but I have time to catch up.
  27. Like you, I’m a bit of a geek, but geek is chic, so we’re cool.

But I have a long way to go to be anything like you. You’d be so proud (and embarrassed)  if you saw all the letters and emails we have gotten from all the people whose lives you touched.

Every since I first heard that Soledad wrote El Tiempo Pasa to her mother, I have loved it (I loved it before, too). When you died, this part of the song popped in my head:

Aunque el tiempo pase fuerte
aunque a veces sean crueles
las agujas del reloj
Yo te juro que mi vida
y las que vengan conmigo
serán tu continuacíon
Para asegurarle al mundo
un futuro tan bonito
así como quiere Dios

Someone else wrote it, but it’s my promise to you.

Like you used to write on my letters to camp,