mother has more than only one day

Mothers.   what am I doing writing this?   my mother is gone.   many years now.   but she yet resides here, inside me.   this morning I read two poems by my friend, Bridgette.   if I thought I was at peace with my memories of my mom – I was wrong.   Bridgette’s poems opened my heart more than I was before.

I understood my mother’s life was not all easy.   maybe her relationship with her own mother wasn’t all so loving as it might have been.   wheresoever her pains originated, she passed them on to me.   not by intent but just because that’s who she thought she was.   I did the same.   I swallowed her pain, made it my own.   it lived with me many many long years.   colored me.

here, nearer to the ending of one life, I see better now.   Bridgette is right,
that relationship, mother & child – it is complicated.   40 trillion times or so.

a teacher of mine once said, we are each doing our best to express love, as best we understand what love is.   neither time nor place to detail or debate, but when I look, this looks like true.   obvious enough that how some of us understand love leaves much to be desired.   but within our individual realities, that’s how we try to be.

I remember in young childhood nights when shadows seemed too ominous, it was mom’s name I called out, quietly lest the shadows hear my fear.   but it was mother who heard, who stepped out of bed, crossed the short distance, her voice to comfort me.   love, no shame.

life is both ways, all the time.
artwork by Paul Nzalamba, “Love”

7 thoughts on “mother has more than only one day

  1. Wow, Neil. I’m honored my words were able to bring forth such a deep and beautiful look at your relationship with your mother. The threads of pain that are woven into us as children never quite go away.

    My mother loves me fiercely, but she has no measure for how to love. She tried to break the cycle of abuse when I was a child, but she didn’t have the skills or the right partner to support her. She hit me. Yelled in my face. Hurt me. But I still never doubted her love. It wasn’t until her mother died that we started to mend those threads, to pull at them and see how deeply they weave us all together. We are starting to unravel some of the really hurtful ones, but there’s still so much work to do.

    The image of you calling out to your mother to protect you from the shadows is a powerful one. Your last line will stay with me for a long time “life is both ways, all the time.”

    Liked by 1 person

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