"I am playing with myself,
I am playing with the world's soul,
I am the dialogue between myself and el espiritu del mundo.
I change myself, I change the world."

Gloria AnzaldĂșa

28 February, 2008

To Mary


Dear Mama,

Today is the fourth anniversary of your death. It was a different life for me--almost a world away--and just yesterday.

This weekend at the grand opening party, I thought of you so often. You loved art and music and serving people food. Cousin Butch and his wife Susan were at the party, and they talked about you quite a bit--Butch told me about a coat you bought him fifteen or twenty years ago that he still wears. It was a thrift store treasure, and he loves it. And Susan talked about your cooking and your serving them meals back when Butch was still in law school. They both loved you.

Some people at the party made a fuss over the food I put out--how nice it looked, how good it was. It was all very simple stuff. I kept thinking that you would have done it better. But I was proud. It is one of the ways I like to think that I am like you.

And I am like you. Like you, I love to cook for other people, I love a good laugh, I love to read. Like you, I'll start singing at the drop of a hat, and I can rarely stop until I've sung the whole song. Like you, I love animals, and I talk and sing to them on a regular basis. I love a good bargain, I love to give "the perfect gift," and I love art, poetry, and music. I love. I am a passionate woman.

Like you, I struggle with depression. I am quick to anger. I can misinterpret the most innocent statements or actions. I isolate myself. I am not always easy to live with.

I have not "turned into" you, as we so often joke about our mothers, but I cannot miss seeing you in some elements of my personality.

I miss you so, Mama.

k

27 comments:

Pearl C. Pritchard said...

Oh Professor J -- that was really poignant. I'll bet your mom was so proud of you.

What a nice tribute.

Lisa Milton said...

Very lovely. I can't imagine the day I will be in your shoes.

Powerful.

Anonymous said...

That was so beautiful. Your mother seemed so radiant.

I fear the day.

Laura said...

This was so poignant. I'm going to call my mom this very minute.

And thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Mrs. T said...

Very nicely written. I will miss my mom so much when she goes!

Cheri said...

Aren't you beautiful? The energy and the light of your tribute are just jumping from the screen and into my heart.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I know how you feel. I love what you had to say.

Mike Golch said...

Lady I really feel the pain of the loss of a Mother.I lost mine Sept 2003.she had lung cancer,and yes we see a little of our parents in our selves a lot of times.there are times that i explode in anger over something silly like Dad did,there are times that I'll be sad over something little like Mom.
So here is a GREAT BIG HUG for you.Blessing your way my friend.

Mrs. G. said...

I'm sending you a big hug.

we_be_toys said...

Now you've gone and given me a sniffle! What an incredibly sweet and beautiful tribute to your mother. You are lucky indeed, to have had such a wonderful and loving mother. Now I have to go cry.

supertiff said...

i couldn't read past the first sentence, because i have my own version of this story. (i say 'version' because, really, don't we all have one...eventually?)

i don't want to disrespect your loss, and what i'm sure are some beautiful words...i'll be back soon, one a night when i'm more able to go to these places.

until then, peace to you. and your mama.

Amy Y said...

This was so beautiful...
Thanks for stopping by my blog ~ it's nice to meet you!

a. beaverhausen said...

She's watching from someplace and I know she feels your love.

Sojourner said...

We had our own little chat about mothers today that left me feeling a little blue.

You really are special, kiddo! And yes- I see a bit of your mama in you too. The good stuff. She was a hoot and a holler, and I know you miss her!

JCK said...

It is lovely that you can feel her again through yourself. And I bet she can feel you, too. She sounds very special.

Family Adventure said...

A beautiful post, Professor J. I, too, wish she could have shared this weekend with you and Susan.

Heidi

Ginaagain said...

That was a lovely post. Thank you Professor J.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh wow, that was so moving, so beautiful...simply and sweetly so.

Mary Alice said...

Lovely. Maybe we don't so much "turn in our mothers" as we refine and define in our personalities what was wonderful about them. To mamas. Cheers.

Claire B. said...

How very beautiful. I can only imagine how much you miss your mother. Hugs to you!

My mother is also a Mary!

Grandy said...

What a great letter to your Mother!! Thank you for sharing.

bipolarlawyercook said...

I've said it before, but it's worth saying a thousand times-- the peace, acceptance and love that radiates from your letters to and posts about your mom are inspiring.

Ophelia Rising said...

How lovely. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful, interesting person.

Thanks for sharing her with us.

aaryn b. said...

Just so lovely.
I'm typing through tears.
Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and I'm sure she would be so proud of you.

anne said...

Very beautiful letter to a very beautiful person.

K. said...

This is so honest and beautiful, which is one of the things I enjoy about you most, now that I think about it.

Since my father died, my mother and I have had a VERY difficult relationship. I want you to know how much it helps me when you blog about your Mom - it makes me feel like maybe it is possible to make peace with my feelings about my own, and that I don't have to strive for some impossible, perfect happy ending in order to be a good daughter.

So thank you for that, it means more than I can say.

supertiff said...

wait: moms are allowed to die?
no.
nononono.

i'm going to hide under my bed now.