Sunday, May 13, 2012

My angel mother

I wake to the pattering of feet above my head.  I am in the basement, on the pull-out bed, wrapped in the quilt made by a crazy old lady from Mississippi.  I see the sun brightening up the room...I watch as the beams break into a million pieces of color as they hit the patterned glass and I think about how I feel so grounded in this moment because my mom is walking up above me. 

How every morning of every day I have ever known,
I have opened my eyes and have set myself aright, resting in the peace that comes from knowing that my mom is near. 

To know that she is alive and kicking...
and dancing...
and singing silly songs...
or cooking brisket...
...that she is getting onto my dad about what he has forgotten at the moment...
or pumping her fist into the air upon learning that her blood numbers are going up "like they are supposed to"...
...that I can call her just to hear her voice say, "Hi, darlin!"

these things, these snippets of time and essence...
all these things
keep my world spinning on its axis.

Because I know that she is there.

And then I think about my family and friends who are waking up this morning, seeing the same sun as me, whose minds will slip also into those familiar paths but, rather than gently settling into their skins, will find themselves, instead, falling into a sunken place.

A place without their mothers.

I scarcely can imagine that place.  Whenever my mind wanders to a future in that vacant space I have to catch my breath, hold something to steady myself, find something fixed to focus my gaze.  Because I have never known myself or my world without my mother in it.  I am here, because of her.  I am who I am, because of her.

And I want to always live in a world that has my mother in it.  Because how can I exist without my mother in the world? 

But then I see those that I love, those who have lost their mothers in the last month, the last year, the last decade...
and somehow they are still walking and talking and breathing.
I know that, some days, those basic acts are all they can still hurts so much...

There is still life, despite the loss.  There is still love in the world, despite the severing.  There is still light, despite the darkness.

And I have hope.

Because, if it is true, that we are who we are because of our mothers...
it means that this whole dance,
all of the goodness and light
spun dizzy
with all of the defiance and angst
...all of it
gains momentum by touching another life.

Through loving and singing with our own children, by partnering with kindred souls or living alongside people that challenge us...
all of it
ripples on

and people are continually made and remade
because we are in their lives...which means that our mothers live on.

And so, just maybe, I will always, every day that I will ever know, wake in the morning and find myself grounded in the moment

because my mom is walking above me.


  1. Your Mom raised a very loving and intelligent woman. She must be so proud. You are an inspiration to all the women who read your words. I love you Holly for those same reasons. You are an beautiful soul, just like your Mother. Happy Mothers Day to y'all. Love and hugs. <3

    1. You are beautiful, too, Lori. I hope that your Mother's Day was full of love and grace.

  2. My darlin' Holly, 3 tissues later I find myself squalling ( southern speak for sobbing ) grabbing more tissues as I try to collect my heartstrings bursting from my chest. Today as we celebrate our first born , Lecia's birthday, your dad and I have been so truly blessed to have you as the other bookend and Kemp, Tim, and Lauren the wondrous volumes that make our lives so complete. Thank you for your sweet words chosen for me . Thank you for choosing our nest to complete your journey into life with all of us who were waiting just for you........ Mom xxxooo