Friday, April 17, 2020

Memory of Mother

Saturday May 9th, 2015

Spent some time with Nicole, Ella and Big little CJ (Christian) this afternoon. I took them to Van Wagner’s beach in Stoney Creek where we spent some good time, walking on the sand, skipping stones, photographing birds and each other, taking selfies then off to the ice cream parlor for some black cherry, chocolate and cookies ice cream.

I packed some blankets and healthy snacks but never got around to it because—we all wanted ice cream!

This little outing drained me, but I drummed-up enough strength to go for a 5-mile walk to Bayfront. I purposely left my camera at home. Took a shower when I got back and convinced Sean to take me to Ola Bakery downstairs for an Americano and something sweet. I didn’t have time for coffee this morning and I feel a little sluggish and a bit of a headache.

Taking a 20-minute nap was my plan when we got back to the apartment. Immediately after I laid in bed, something shifted. Memories of my mother came pouring in—so were my tears. I long to be embraced by Mother. I long to have a conversation with her—feel her close to me—touch her beautiful skin—inhale her scent and tell her how much I miss and love her. Even as I write this piece, my tears flow—unstoppable.  The lump in my throat won’t go away. I wallow in her memories, and the feeling of emptiness remain.

Suddenly, I was being pulled out of bed by some unexplainable energy. Grabbed my purse and keys—ready to be led by this energy—a visit to the cemetery! Unfortunately, Sean had made plans with his long time friends. He noticed my tears. I tell him why. Although he was willing to let me have the car, I wasn’t about to spoil his plans with friends of whom he rarely spend time with. Tomorrow, on Mother’s Day, I’ll make the drive. My energy was on overdrive—this poem is the result of that creative energy wanting to be expressed.

Memory of Mother on Mother’s Day

she knew he would be home soon
from where, she had a good idea—
all day and into the evening
she’s been reaching into
a hiding spot inside the rice bin
where she stashed her bottle
of whiskey—taking swigs
as if an elixir that would
wash away the feeling—
the pain—anxiety—the fear
of what might come
when he gets home—
tired and drunk

or is it what comes after
that she tries to numb
that if she took swigs after swigs
of whiskey, she will
develop thick skin

his words whip like barbed wire
his hands quick to throw slaps—
punches and hair pulling—
she begs him to stop
but he doesn’t hear her
he whips, he grabs, he slaps
until she’s down
on the ground

a little girl cowers in the
corner of one room—helpless
hands clasp to both ears
she breathes—deeply
whispers to no one in particular
she promises to be good—
be different—
to her own children 
when she’s grown up
                just make this go away

she’s the little girl
     who wanted to be good
the perfect little girl
     who was favored
the little girl who sang
to her daddy     during school recesses
the little girl who pulled her daddy’s
whiskers until he fell asleep
          he was mellow—

she’s the little girl
who wanted to please everybody
the little girl 
who bears the weight
of the whole world

she’s grown up now
but still remembers—
she’s stronger—
she’s not perfect
but there's one thing she has—
                     her Self!

Rest Well Mother

Unedited, I wrote this poem the night after a visit to my mother whose lifeless body lie in a hospital bed. Later that day, she died of liver cancer. This poem captures the true essence of 'our' time together at that particular moment—December 26, 2007.

Rest Well Mother

you lay in a hospital bed
a thousand thoughts run through my head
your eyes are shut
your mouth shows no movement
I know the words I speak
go through one ear and out the other
but you know
I’m right here by your side

last night I was here
you opened your eyes
looked right into mine and said
you've always been
the beautiful one
your words linger in my ears
like a song stuck in my head
there to reside for eternal years

open your eyes
look at me
and tell me more
tell me how as a little girl
I made you laugh so hard
until your sides hurt
tell me how you felt
when I hugged you
and told you how much I love you

now I only see a tear
rolling down your soft cheek
I thought I also hear a bleak whisper
drowned by the hum
of hospital monitors
wires and tubes
                    they feed you

I try to accept the fact
that this is all real, not just an act
but I can’t and I’m fed up
so I’ll just keep my mouth shut
I can only hope for the best
that your pain will subside
if it makes you feel better
I too burn with ache deep inside

how can I say I feel your pain?
when the truth is, I feel numb
secretly in the dark I cry in vain
thoughts of malady that you succumb
words of hope floats around you
like a school of disoriented birds
denial is in full strength brew
given the circumstances in regard
give yourself permission
                                   be tired

be guided by the bright light
you have served your purpose in life
though my heart will bleed in sorrow
as you slowly fade away
I know deep down inside
you are hurting in more ways than you show
as cruel as it may sound
I have to bid you goodbye
there are no more words to find
rest well my mother, don’t cry
your children
your children's children
will be just fine

rest well my mother
I'll meet you on the Other side

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