Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Anniversary Silently Slipped By

The anniversary of my mother's death slipped past me.  Usually a day doesn't go by that I do not think of my mom...what she would think of me...how she would laugh at AJ...what advice she would give...how she would cherish a moment...but I do not think about the day she passed away, August 2, 2005.  I prefer to think about her birthday or holiday memories or how she would react to something.  


Without realizing it, the anniversary of her death quietly came and went.  Jess' blog stirred my memory of that phone call and following week where all time seemed to stop and my world was suspended as I slowly tried to grasp that she was really gone...someone I always thought would be eternally there.  I am sad that it has just become part of my life not to have a mother.  It breaks my heart that my children will never know their Grandma Vickie, and I would definitely love to hear her perspective on pregnancy!   

I have tried to preserve her memory in poetry, but it is hard to capture the true essence of someone as memories fade and become less clear.  Here are four poems I have worked on over the last year ranging from her mounting tissues as she became more and more sick...to how she loved a rain storm...to how she expressed her love...to how she was a keeper...

It is funny things that remain dear in our hearts over the years that we took for granted in the moments that we lived them.  

Mom's Tissues

Disintegrating in her pockets, white, broken, holey fragments
Wrinkled up in her clenched hands, poised and ready
Tucked under her pillow, safely waiting
Waded up on her side tables, abandoned and mounting
Multiplying in her purse, huddled, lost in the trenches
Perched, fluttering on the edges of the coffee table

Passed to tearful red nosed children: nurturing
Wiping cold runny noses: caring
Absorbing hot sultry tears: comforting
Cleaning dark smudges: essential 

The Joy of a Rain Storm

The smell of the dense earth penetrates the air
Thick humidity travels through her mouth into her damaged lungs
Teasing, taunting...
A vague familiarity begins to stir deep inside her

Drops slowly begin to fall, gaining momentum...
Ripples of childhood memories begin to resonate inside her
A sense of power and adventure thrive

Water falls, thunder and lightening fill the sky
She sits on the porch swing, soaking the sensation in 
Memories cascading forth, energizing her frail body
Refreshing, revitalizing, healing her

Sailboats and Fat Quarters

As I fumbled and rushed out the green faded door with paint chips falling behind me and
curtains left swaying, mom would yell, "I love you more than...movie nights curled up on the couch in flannel pj's with ice cold Pepsi, salty popcorn and Reese's peanut butter cups!"

I knew what it meant to be truly loved.

As I settled down, brushing my teeth and washing my face, preparing to nestle into my
cozy bed of tattered quilts and cools sheets, mom's warm tender check would brush mine, and 
she would whisper, "I love you more than...a Marigold's grilled, cheesy club sandwich with garlic mayo...and chocolate."

I fell asleep knowing the depth of my mother's love.

Found scrolled leisurely at the end of a note card with delicate penmanship, mom would write, I love you more than...all the vibrant fat quarters in the world and my computer.  

Far from home, I felt my mother's love well up inside me.

While signing off of AOL Instant Messenger or at the bottom of an email, a clever
thoughtful closing, mom would type, I love you more than...a good book on a snowy day, sailboats, and lighthouses.

I will always know my mother's love.

The Scrapbook Box(es)

Some people have themed and embellished scrapbooks, 
My mom had cluttered, ragged "scrapbook boxes", falling apart at the seams 
and papers spilling out

Some people go through things, filter out, and simplify,
My mom cherished every pen stroke
Every project, every unique picture

8 children, 104 years of grade school
Massive quantities of finger paint, chalk art, and crayon 
Countless childhood stories, letters, and worn note books with kid spelling

Yellowed pages of creations, torn at the folds,
Dusty treasures waiting, anticipating attention and hours of reminiscing,

Sneezing from the residue of time, rusty schema waiting to be rediscovered


(and yes, I kept my portion of the scrapbook boxes...they are in my closet...maybe one day I will show AJ my childhood stories and finger paint master pieces.)










2 comments:

jessieg said...

I think the same thing, I no longer linger on her death, but what she was able to leave behind as gift for all of us. You captured her so well in your poetry. I had forgotten about the scrapbook boxes. I have a small one too (because that's all this apartment can hold). I often think how much of how I turned out and what I love was because Mom had so much faith in me. I wish she were still around, because I feel I'm so much more mature to enjoy her company now. I got too busy with my own life.

Katlyn said...

This entry made me tear up - I hope my kids aren't missing me at such an early age - I hope all our kids don't have to miss us until they have their own kiddos to love.