I think my favorite story about her is that when angered by other motorists, she was never content to give them the finger. She gave them the whole hand. You've got to see the motion in person to really appreciate how hilarious it is. :P Lesson learned: don't go half-way when returning an insult.
I didn't know her at all, really, but by extension, I know the most remarkable and wonderful thing she ever did. She gave the world my beloved Holly, and I can tell you a lot about the mother by describing her daughter. Holly is a trailblazer, a one-of-a-kind, one who never tests the winds or someone else's pulse to know her own thoughts on things. Holly is not one you can label with the usual pat, politically correct method of describing people. She is a complex and delightful person herself, and one whom I admire tremendously. Holly's been a pillar of strength to me at moments I felt most bleak and also at my happiest moments. Holly's fierce sense of justice has led her to work in fields where she could be a true and very present help to others. Her knowledge is vast and she is ever ready to bring her expertise to bear when friends or loved ones are in need.
Holly is, well, she's a lot like her namesake, the Ilex plant of the family Aquifoliaceae. Holly, no shrinking violet, comes equipped to arm itself and its gorgeous berries are the winter sustenance to many varieties of bird. The jaunty, defiantly pointy leaves carry with their beauty a thorny discouragement those how would crush its form, and its vibrant green and red in the dead of winter is a reminder that warmth will again return and is always present deep within its fiercely beating heart.
I don't have to know her mom very well to grieve her passing. I just have to look at Holly to know I know all the very best of her life, and I am so, so very thankful every day that she lived.
My dear sister Holly:
I hope you are comforted by thoughts and memories of all your finest moments with your mom. I hope you are comforted by knowing how very dearly I hold you in my heart and how very much I love you.