Saturday, May 7, 2011


My first memory of my mother, Jennie, was when I was on the couch at East 22nd Street in Tracy.  I had been playing in the backyard and had stepped on a bee, and ran in the house screaming.  My mom soothed me the usual way, but her mannerisms changed as she later looked at my foot, which had swollen, and reddened.  She went to our refrigerator and got a cold 7-up in a glass bottle, poked a hole in the top with a nail, and let me drink it there on the couch.  She called our doctor as I drank the soda, like a baby drinks a bottle.  I was looking at her, and knew something was wrong (it was the first time I experienced a mild anaphylactic shock - I was allergic to bee stings) but I knew, at the same time, I was safe and I was going to be okay.

My mom has a way of making me feel safe, like everything is going to be okay, still.

By the time I became a mother I was only recently removed from my own mom, and on most days, crying out for her.  I didn't know what I was doing, really, and she made it all look so easy.  As I talked to her last night, we both had agreed to remain light and not burst into tears.  I have the greater task when we make this agreement.  I wanted my mom last night, like I was five.

Mother's love is the most tragic, beautiful, dramatic, crazy kind of love that there is.  A mother hen will charge a moving vehicle if it headed toward her chicks; a mother bear can rip any predator to shreds that endangers her cub; and a mother of a child, in most cases, can turn from logic and overreact to any threat: person, place or thing, that threatens the happiness of her child.

Vincent was born when I was 23, and I knew I was in love the first time I saw his face.  I had a hard time putting him down, resting without him near, hearing him cry or letting others have a turn holding him.  My whole life changed with him...instantly.  I later met Mario, my one true love, who had two children of his own: David (6) and Joe (4).  I met them and became enchanted with the way they saw life, were drawn to their father and loyal to their mother - even as young boys they had an other-worldliness to them.   We became a family, with David and Joe living only part time with us.  The following July we had Alicia, and we were all overjoyed at the gorgeous little blessing that flooded our lives with pink.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  The day that has always been a hard one for me has become the hardest day of my year, as I spend most of it in a fight to hold back tears and live inside of God's presence protecting me from my own emotions.  I will not have my mother, my sisters or my children here to hold (or hold me).  I  have to be content with waiting for the next visit out to see Alicia have her second baby.  SKYPE is a God-send, but not a replacement... and the day becomes a test of endurance and strength as I watch other mother-daughters enjoy each other.

Still, as I sit here typing, I can remember each: My Mother (her glowing beauty and peace), My sisters (all sparkling with delight over their young children), even my kids... David (the gentle husband to Lennae and the fun father to his girls, Laila, Lilli and Lauren) told me to SKYPE them in the evening.  Joe (deep and reflective) will most likely call us later.  Vince (camping with friends in Colorado this weekend) called me yesterday to say Happy Mother's Day.  Alicia (pregnant with her second and mother to Harmony, our sweet grandchild) will spend with her beloved Brian, and their family.  They all reverberate in my heart, my memories, my veins... I love them all so much.

I have loved them so much in this lifetime I feel filled with love... and delight in this.

Mario told me today we'll go out to dinner tomorrow night, just the two of us. It will have to be after all the SKYPE dates, so it may have to be McDonalds.  So much for my diet!

Happy Mother's Day.

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