My Irish - Type Mother
I lie inside my Mothers soul, and hers lies inside of me.
All through nine months, the heartbeat was heard.
And through our shared pain, my life became
Every breath I drew on. nurtured breast to mouth,
In years of falls, scabs, illnesses, learning to talk
And talk and laugh and sing and understand,
The tomes of things shown, learning compassion,
the Age of Reason, devilment, mimicry and satire,
Family, and keeping up with all of us -
all mainly from my Mother.
It would have seemed a dry old cold world without her.
It doesn't seem this way now she's gone on, because she showed the way to be - - free - inside.
There don't seem to be many older people about,
Who've kept the child in their heart, but not become childish. This is wisdom. My Mother was very wise and laughed a lot over little things, over little people, and just when she told stories, her telling was with laughter.
I never will forget her laughter, and her way of twinkling. Not all the time, either as like many Irish, she had her own demons to contend with, and waves of sadness would sweep over her at times. Like they do with me at times. But hers appeared to possess her and she would disappear inside herself for weeks and become this tiny old sad lady, and the plea would be behind her eyes, to "Help Me! I don't want to be like this." This was really hard to bear, but as she'd say after the episodes were over, "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger."
She could really drain your energy when she was like this, and this became like a 'Catch 22' situation, because her need seemed so intense at the time as if she needed the extra strength to get through, and I didn't always have the strength to spare. She knew she did this and when okay she hated being like this.
But in the measure of her life all sixty five years, such a little percentage of her life was like this, so much so that in the balance it can be negated as being less relevant than the time the rest of us waste watching quiz shows, something she never did. TV held almost no attraction for her, It was turned on to watch a movie, and then off it went. No mindless dazedness just passing the whole night by three hundred and sixty five, in front of the hypnotic flicker of today's madness.
What dwells with me now is the cool damp feeling of her skin one day when I recall kissing her, just after she had come out of the shower. What stays with me is the smells of shampoo and soap, and clean. Sometimes, not all that often these days, but still sometimes I feel as if my heart is hurting, physically, and that it is being pulled open inside my chest, and for a little while I have a few tears, nothing unnatural, nothing I can't handle, because she left me knowing inside how to deal with these things.
The lessons, that weren't lessons sunk in. Nothing was by rote, no real hard and fast rules, just the way...the way to be. To do the right thing just because it was the right thing to do, no other reason.