Sunday, May 14, 2017
A letter to my Mother on Mother's Day
Today is Mother's Day. Over the last few weeks, as I strolled through boutiques during my trip to Virginia, I stumbled upon Mothers day gifts and cards. I let my hand touch them, feel them, stopping for only a few seconds to think of you. I didn't dwell long as I knew the tears would come, like they are now.
During this trip, I looked out my brothers kitchen window each morning and saw the many cardinals that flew in to feast on the bird seed my sister-in-law put out for them. And I thought of you.
Emily Dickenson note cards spoke to me in a gift shop that sent me a message about writing, that I must write and keep writing and I knew you were there telling me to start writing again.
I sat next to your first Grand Daughter on the plane to Virginia, on walks through beautiful gardens and historical sites and I thought of you.
I watched this same young woman try on wedding dresses a few weeks ago and I was there when she picked the "one." And I thought of you.
This past week our family lost our fourth Grandmother in two years, since you have died. And I watched my nieces cry more tears, tears that would never seem to stop. Their sad, beautiful faces feeling another loss , of another matriarch they grew up with. The memories of losing you too, being far to close in our hearts that the grief is not gone and the healing not fully complete.
As I sat in funeral home next to your Grandson hold his son and trying to keep him from fidgeting, I couldn't help but think of how proud you would be of your family. They have all grown up to be such amazing people.
No, we are not movie stars or famous surgeons, But loving, ordinary people , that help one another.
Your Son got up and said the opening words at his Mother-in-Law's wake. He stumbled and cried through a lot of it, but he got through it. Brave, strong and with a big heart - as he has so many things in his life.
Your Grand Daughter Shelby, got up and also said some moving words, she did a great job and she has supported her Mother through this whole week. You would be proud of her , I am too.
As I sat at your sons house watching his wife struggle through all the needed arrangements , holding back the tears and at times, not knowing what to do - I thought of you.
I looked at Shelby as she was putting together the picture boards for the funeral home and I said - "What would Punky say right now?"
I know what she would say - she would tell us that everything will be ok and we will get through this together. And so, I got up and hugged by sister-in-law.
My heart has not fully healed since December 10, 2015. I know this. But the days are getting better.
I recently saw a movie on Hallmark where two families lost their spouses. And one of them says " a part of me died with them." A TV show articulates something I have been feeling but couldn't quite put into words.
And that would be true. I have felt that way for a very long time.
But as we celebrate this day, I know I must begin to start living and celebrating you. As hard as that is.
The you who grew this beautiful family with all its quirks , the you who wrote eloquent essays on nature and family, the you who could cook those delicious comforting meals, the you who lent a helping hand to those that needed it and the you who was and still remains my best friend.
Love you Mom
Posted by Kimberley Barker Nightingale at 1:07 PM