My mother was an amazing woman. She always knew her time might come sooner rather than later so she did everything to a certain degree many of us may never know. She was in a hurry to LIVE and do everything she wanted to do. She was such a beautiful example of living. As a parent she taught me many lessons, some hard and swift because she wanted to pack in as much as she could as a mother to two children with cancer. She also desperately wanted to protect me from this fact. Time was a luxury she didn’t have. When I have more time, I’ll write more about her and share her memory, which should never be forgotten. This is a poem I wrote about her. Please forgive it’s messiness as I didn’t have time this morning to edit, like most mornings…So please excuse the errors on my posts!
Perched Upon Your Vanity
Green eyes wide and wild with delight,
I have clambered my way up onto your vanity once again,
In such a mischievous manner,
Not able to help myself to some small part of you.
My eyes are marbled with fascination and curiosity
And mottled with shame, for I know I’m not to be up here.
Giggling, I put my head down as I hear your light footsteps
Coming to discover a fierce scavenger of a little girl,
Pillaging your drawer of beauty, the majestic drawer of you.
I am bathed in your perfume, Estee Lauder’s Beautiful.
My face powder puffed in pink shiny particles,
My knees are tucked up in my nightgown,
Arms holding me steady so I don’t giggle or rock back and forth.
My eyes stay low as I wait for you,
For any part of you.
The part where you play with me as I pretend to be a sophisticated, fancy and
elegant lady like you.
I daydream and wait and daydream some more until you finally come.
You laugh and smile at me as I clumsily walk around in fancy gowns that trail behind me,
In jeweled heels that swallow my feet.
I throw my head back and laugh confidently like you,
Jade bracelets bangling together in a jeweled percussion
As I wave my hands in the air in some sort of dance of abandon, no worries at all.
I continue to laugh in an attempt to sound like you,
An all-knowing woman, strong in her convictions.
Inevitably my laugh turns into hysterical giggles as I see the delight on your face.
And I’m happy.
Then I watch you so carefully as you shift like a well oiled machine
As you are getting yourself ready to leave.
Another cloud of perfumed powder fills the air – this one like a ghost,
Beautiful and translucent, yet ever so opaque and present like you,
A neatly pressed and original beauty,
A public figure with a public persona to uphold.
You apply your perfectly shaped red lipstick, your signature color to that wide
and hopeful smile.
The smile that has a curtain,
Behind it the immeasurable truth and pain I can so
But can’t touch.
You were perfect, a superhero,
So frail and slender – a soldier marching through her daily tasks of love.
Doing them without complaint.
And as I watched you so carefully, I always wondered but never dare ask,
“How do you really feel deep down to the soul of your bare naked bones?”
Because children know when something is wrong.
Perfume sprayed generously into the air,
You walked through it, sometimes dancing, sometimes singing, a happy yet
excruciatingly sad song all at once.
The citrus and floral notes tickle my senses with confusion
as you breezily pass through it’s blessing
As if baptized for a new day.
Always smiling that original beauty smile of yours as though you are cured.
I sit bewildered and amused and curious, always watching.
Green eyes filled with wonder at unanswered questions
And truths never told.
You were pure GRACE,
smiling that smile, pretending small tufts of your hair aren’t falling
from your head and landing around your feet.
I pretend too, my eyes always watching
and quickly becoming resevoirs of prayer and longing.
Please!, I silently plead with you, what do you feel on the inside?
I try to catch the floral droplets of your perfume on my tongue,
Try to catch the tiny shimmering diamonds of power in my hands like snow,
To taste and feel what you do.
I chase the ghost in the powder until she has vanished.
I remember you walking away in your kelly green dress,
And I close my eyes, clinging to the edges as you leave.
I need more and find myself burying my face in your flowing dress,
Gathered at your feet like a little girl.
Please don’t go.
Green threads falling softly around you like fresh spring grass.
I grasp at each intact thread as the dress begins to unravel around you,
leaving the naked truth I so longed to know.
The human, not the superhero.
Picking up each thread, I want to piece you back together again.
I need more of you.
I dream you are still here, playing a game of hide and seek in the powder,
giggling with me like a child.
But you would never play a game so cunning and I realize you are really gone.
I couldn’t move in that moment, I couldn’t leave your vanity,
That meant I would have to let you go,
say goodbye to my mother,
the superhero who did evertything with grace and love.
You wanted to protect me and also squeeze as much as you could into your life.
You had to teach me lessons while you still could
In a race against time, the lessons could be hard and swift.
You knew every day was one more day you weren’t ever supposed to have
and you protected me through each of them..
That is how I knew the depth of your love.
I can climb down now from that magical countertop,
Close the drawer of fanciful curiosities.
I can let you go and say goodbye,
knowing I carry you inside.
Sometimes you may find me perched upon your vanity again,
Rifling through your drawer,
Looking for answers,
As I feel my own way,
Searching for some clue from you and the beautiful lessons you gave me,
The superwoman and the mother who taught me so much.