Friday, May 2, 2008

All is not lost

My mom has been on my mind a lot lately. Reading this blog doesn't make it any easier to pocket those feelings away.

Maybe this is why I don't think disability is equal to death. Maybe this is why I get so upset when people relate autism to cancer. Autism has not stolen the souls or lives of anyone I have met. Cancer has.

Don't spend your life trying to fix your child. Spend your life loving them. That relationship can be whatever you allow it to be. Don't fight for something you think you want, when what you need, what you can nurture, is already there. I have to remind myself of this quite often. In spite of me, not only because of me, my children grow, mature, progress. And I am so lucky that they call me "mom."

*****

I wrote this in highschool and then recrafted it in college. It never seems finished when I read it, always room to tweak, modify, as I continue to experience old and new pain and overwhelming love through various stages of my life.

Mom

I.

You sit there quietly
sipping your tea.
I watch you
stare
into the dark liquid.
Steam dampens your brown
(or was it black?)
hair.

I was too young
to know the secrets
that your clouded green
(or were they blue?)
eyes
kept from me.
I waited
until you noticed
my perplexity
before I left you to your
sighs.


II.

Your delicate
(or were they brittle?)
hands framed my face
as you welcomed me home from school.

You were happy
(or were you?)
then
listening to my stories
of swing-set wars
and jungle-gym triumphs.

I never paused
words tumbling over tongue.
You smiled slightly
as you listened.
(or were your thoughts elsewhere?)
Done with my stories
I leave you
to an empty room.

III.

You lay there
your beautiful
(Are you at peace?)
face
no longer tense
with pain.

Eyes closed
(Will you remember me?)
hands folded
never to comfort me
again.

I give you my
celebrated
blue rosary
to help your transition
to There.
(Can I go with you?)
The color is ice
against your pale.

I blow a kiss.
(A child's hope thrown away.)
I am pulled away
into greedy hugs.
You are
shut into
darkness.
(I will never know who you are.)

6 comments:

Niksmom said...

Oh, Ange! This is heartbreakingly eloquent and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Kelley said...

*sob* so beautiful. And bittersweet.

Stimey said...

I agree. This is beautiful. I have thoughts for you, but I can't put them into words. But thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

You transported me back in time with this poem. I could see it all unfolding. It is truly one of the most amazing (and beautiful) things I have ever read.

I am so sad that your mom didn't live to see the wonderful person you have become. How could she be anything but SOOOO proud!

I love you. Aunt E

Jan O said...

I too have been thinking of your Mom a lot lately. I have been thinking more because of Laney, who looks a lot like Tricia, when she was that age. (I am going to look for that picture that is in the back of my mind or did I give it to you?). We need to have another "talk about Mom" get together with Amy. I know my Sister & Best Friend is very proud of you and Amy. If you look you will see her in Zak and Kaden.........I do.

Aunt Janice

Kelly said...

Ange,
I really liked your poem about your mom... Even as an adult who is supposedly "well-equipped" to deal with life on my own, I fear and dread the day when my Mom is taken away. I particularly felt attune to the parts where you question your own memories (brown or black hair? green or blue eyes?) Memory is such a trickster.
-Kelbelnel