Skidamarink - a dink - a dink Skidamarink - a do I love you
The month of March brings in some rare air. In like a lion, out like a lamb - for me, March cradles the promise of birth and the finality of death highlighted with the dates of my beginning and my mother's passing.
Last week I officially outlived my mother. At the time of her departure, I considered this day, hovering in the future, a possibility not to be conjured.
She left abruptly. Frozen in exquisite detail, I caught up to her and snatched a glimpse of what we would be like as contemporaries, only to have a one way conversation. As usual, I did the talking.
During this past year as I approached her in age, I prepared to close the gap and give her a high five as if to say, “I did it without you, but it was not easy”.
The tears have come and gone. Now I'm moving on into older age, as I did once before, but this time, I head for uncharted waters.
During a 57 year life span, we shared anticipation of certain markers: a girlhood in Mississippi, marriage to a good man and devoted children. We are linked by the busyness of daily tasks and the exhaustion that comes from living out of others.
Unwilling to move on in a world without the defenses of youth and physical beauty, she unconsciously halted the march of time, but not before passing along some things that I needed.
I cling to her distinct brand of intelligence: a curious nature, a desire to make home a haven, delight in the world of miniatures, love of a good story, ambition for hand made gifts and the proper tools for appropriate dress and good manners to honor the day.
For contrast she lent me a modicum of stormy thoughts and a smidge of the paranoid to frame my hunger for a better world.
These matriarchal gifts often materialize into a scene where I go for mother love. Sitting at the kitchen table, we are eating bowls full of rice and vegetables that she made. I feel the security of her happy mood as she begins to teach me the words of a song.
She insists that I learn each word, as I will have to sing them, on my own, for a lifetime.