i get teary-eyed where spirit meets the bone, — where we’ve always been &will be
Remember how we started?
In that room, both afflicted
With dumb &dumber doctor
A nurse/slash/judo chopper
“I think I can see the head!”
And that vase beside the bed?
A yellow breath of fresh air
Your father saying a prayer
~Happy Mother’s Day~
For mom, (a very short!) rhyming poem, even though I much prefer writing it all out less contrived, &more conversationally. Mom will re-tell our story today through grateful tears, reminding me how Dad cried, and how he never cried.
Tell me… One more time
How Grandma roller skated–
Hell-bent for Heaven.
If any image should be lasting, it’s the one of Grandma strapping on roller skates, throwing caution to the wind and her fragile bones to a higher power. When I think about it, that’s the best story I could pass on to my daughters. Be funny. Be coy. Be smart. Be trouble. Be happy.
But above all, be brave.
Don’t be stupid, though. My mom and I did affix a brown velour couch pillow to Grandma’s tush using my dad’s belt. We held her hand, ensuring she accomplished her lifelong wish to skate. The brevity of Grandma’s time on wheels was matched with the levity of her legacy. We laughed and tried to steady ourselves. I held and pressed the button down on the Polaroid camera. As long as I live, I hope to never forget that shining moment in time, in the backyard of my 4th Street home with grandma, mom and me.
Be brave. I now tell the same woman who cinched up Grandma’s belt.
Be brave. I tell myself. I’ve been spared another day, because mom still knows my name.
I’ll remind her tomorrow about the time we helped Grandma to skate. I’ll cinch my belt and skate around the catch in my throat when I call. I’ll remind her that it’s Mother’s Day and I’ll say “I love you, Mom.” We’ll both be brave.