On this day, 5 years ago, my mother left this walk. She had battled many, many years. We had all battled many, many years.
I always have this continuous squabble in my head about what to share about my mom. I want to share everything. To get it all off my chest. To say, “Look at me! Look at what I have had to go through. Look at what I am missing and acknowledge how hard this is!”. And then at the same time, I want to hold all of those memories and feelings so close to my heart. To not share even a peep. It is too intimate. I am always reminded of birth. As birth workers, that’s what we do, right? We relate everything to birth and vaginas. After the birth of each child, I want to scream from the rooftops, share all of my precious birth photos and share my birth story every day. But at the same time, I want to hold it all in, keep each minute and each intimate detail guarded deep inside my heart. And in the end, it is just always my nature to share.
I was giving my daughter a bath the other day. By herself. She never gets to take a bath by herself because she has an older brother. And he always wants to help. From inside the tub. So while he was away, I gave her her very own bath. Oh she loves the water. She sat there in the tub just letting me rinse her hair with a washcloth, trusting me to be so gentle. Washing her dark, dark hair that does not match my own. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my mother. Giving her baths when she could no longer bathe herself. Rinsing her hair, that same dark hair, with a washcloth while she trusted me the same way. Closing her eyes gently, enjoying the warm water. Enjoying our time and having special attention paid to her. Just relishing in every ounce of one on one time. Mother and daughter.
Today as I remember her, I remember her ability to love with every piece of her heart. She loved me when it was really, really hard to love me. When there was no one else on this entire earth who could. She never gave up on me. She wanted much better things for me, than I wanted for myself. Now, having babies, I know. She trusted that her love, above all, would show me my path. And it has.
I am remembering her today for her laugh. A contagious laugh. Sparingly used, but oh when it was, that laugh was good. For her precious, soft way. For the way she was so fair and giving.
Today, I am thanking her for unknowingly teaching me to let my children become the people they are, by spoiling them with my unconditional, unquestioning love and my constant touch. This is the greatest gift. To know that I have the same heart and the same mama bear way. They will not know, until they one day sit down to write their own thanks. Today, I am thanking her for her legacy of love. May it continue to flourish and live on, in the hearts of my babies and their babies.