Tuesday, August 21, 2012


No matter how cool I think I am and try to not solely define myself as a mom, I am a mom first and foremost. I can tell you I am a woman, a liberal, a sister, a daughter, a wife, a friend, a writer, a feeler, the baby of an Irish clan. All of that does define me. But what defines me most began on a gorgeous October day when my breasts began to ache and I knew that this baby I had been searching for was in me and in me to stay. I was just thrilled to make it through the pregnancy when I say that the baby was in me to stay- but even after she came out, and her sister and her brother, something remained in me. A new torch in my heart. A new medal deep in my chest. 

Since the days of making my family, I knew how lucky I was to be a mom. I knew others' struggles and battles and losses. I was happy to look at my little ducklings and know how great they are and how fortunate I was. On this day, however, I know how fortunate I am to have a mom. Having a mom is a gift. 

We all have a list of things our mom has done for us. Driving, cooking, earning, talking, scolding, soothing....but right now, when I think of being a motherless child, all I know is that seeing my mother's face is everything. Walking into a room and seeing her smile at me, my heart races a bit because of the chemical effect she has on me. It is like holding your childhood lovie and breathing it in, deep. It is the coming home for me I need, all in a glance up from her newspaper, and a smile. I am thrown back in time. It is the thrill of seeing her when I thought I was lost in a store. It is the warmth of her coming to check on me during a storm. It is the grounding (not a time out, but an actual holding me grounded), reminding me how to be as a kind human. It is the assuredness of her knowing how to help me when I was sick or hurt or confused. All in her smile. Her face secures me. Relieves me. Reminds me that I am a child who is loved at 39.

My mom is 77 (sorry mom, revealed.) We have turned that corner a wee bit that I know I am as a comfort to her as she has always been to me. She is relieved upon my arrival. She needs to vent and bounce thoughts off of me. She needs a hug, and a laugh, and another hug. I feel lucky to be able to be present for her. That she is still in my life. That I am still in her life. I wish everyone could feel about their mom what I feel, but I know that not everyone does. I know that I got the sweet end of the lollipop in this department, and it made me determined to be that for my children, so they will be that for their children. 

To have had her there when I went to Kindergarten, when I was in the school play, when I hated my life. To see her when I got my diplomas, when my heart broke, when my heart soared. To be held when I was teased, when I gave birth, when I came through. 

I am stuck in the thoughts of children who will not have that. Of the loss of a mom that you know was the great kind. A mom who made her childrens' lives complete. Her being gone, does it make them incomplete now? Does her energy know to stay and linger and hold that family together as they grieve? I don't know. But I say yes because a mom would do that.

It makes me think selfishly of my being alive. Of my being here with my children. Lucky me. Lucky me me me. I am here. My mom is here. I wrap myself in the warmth of it and the fortune of it. At my age people lose their moms which is something I can't even think about. But in grade school? As a small child? There is so much of life ahead. Mom should be there.
Mom should.

Rebecca talked of dragonflies. I will talk of hummingbirds. As I wrote this on Saturday morning upon hearing the news of a mom's passing, I was on my porch and a humming bird came to my screen briefly. And then came again. And then again. I hadn't seen one so close before and not here at my house. I don't know if I believe it means anything, but I have a history with birds and motherhood. The fact this bird came round and round and my connection with them, I looked it up. You can take from it what you will.

Hummingbirds are considered  to be symbols of peace, love 

and happiness.
In Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes 
timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It's a symbol for 
accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you
how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life

It stands for immortality. Or sometimes the Sun. 
Hummingbirds are seen by some as a messenger of love and joy.
It symbolizes energy, wonder and swift action. It is associated 
with the Ghost Spirit Native American religion which teaches 
a dance that is intended to return the natural balance of the