My dad, me, and my mom after my high school graduation - 1997
My mom, Mariana Hernandez Jusino, passed away on this date in 2006. I can’t believe it’s been five years. On one hand, it seems like just yesterday. But in many ways, it feels like forever ago. I think it’s because I was another me then. Her death marked a huge shift in me, and everything that made me who I was got shaken out, held up to the light, discarded where appropriate, dusted off where appropriate, and rearranged.
Five years on, and there isn’t really much for me to say on the subject, except that it still saddens me that she won’t be here for all the big stuff. I think she would’ve been proud of the Whedonistas thing, for example, and would’ve loved hearing about my trip to Gally. She’d most certainly be worried about me living in Bed-Stuy now, no matter how many times I’d insist that it’s not really as dangerous as all that! Every time I’d call her, I’m sure she’d say something about how I should be making more money, and that maybe I should go back to my old PR job. 🙂 At the same time, she’d tell me she loves me, and despite her practical advice, I wouldn’t feel judged. She never made me feel bad about being all artsy and useless. She just wanted to make sure I had a plan, which I always try to have. In fact, the only reason this is working for me at all is because she always showed me that, even when following your dreams, you shouldn’t follow them willy-nilly. I’m trying. I’d like to think she’d see that. That maybe she sees it right now.
Other than that, there’s nothing much to say. You can read my observations of grieving HERE, my eulogy HERE, and my 1st Anniversary post, a piece about grief I wrote that involves Neil Gaiman and Kanye West (it relates, I promise), and last year’s anniversary post.
And I decided that this year, I wanted to try and do something to commemorate the occasion more than just post about it. I’m planning a big something that you’ll be hearing about soon, but first, the small something. Actually, two small somethings:
1) My mom died of diabetes-related complications, and so in her memory, I’d like to donate the proceeds of any chapbooks I sell today to the American Diabetes Association. So if you’ve yet to purchase a copy for yourself, like your copy and want to purchase one for a friend, or just want to donate to a worthy cause in honor of my mom, today would be a great time to get a copy of On the Ground Floor. Again, all the proceeds from sales of the chapbook today will be donated to the ADA. So, if you can’t purchase one/donate yourself, please feel free to spread the link to this entry around!
2) Tonight at 8PM ET, I’ll be doing a an online reading of my short story, “Talking About William,” which was inspired by my mom. It’ll be happening at my UStream channel. If you’re gonna be near a computer then, I hope you’ll consider joining me. It’s only a 9-page story, and I won’t be doing much else other than reading.
Aaand, that’s it! 🙂 Love you, Mommy.
My dad, me, and my mom (did we always stand in that order?!) at my sister's house - 2005