Thursday, July 24, 2014

Noticing G'ma

She's everywhere these days. 

Sitting on my desk is a picture of her playing with a goat when she was 21.  I never knew that woman.  Wearing short shorts and a midriff revealing blouse, her hair in two braids, she's completely in the moment, not wondering what others were thinking, not judging herself.  She was a wonderful mother but she was never like this.

And yet, when I think of myself I conjure images of college and building sand castles and reading in bed by the light from the hallway and in none of them do I have grey hair.  My thirties and forties are filled with pictures of my children, and myself in relation to my children, but the visions are of the kids ... not of me. 

I have no idea when my hair tilted more toward the white than the black side of things. The face I see in my mind's eye is filled with more color than the one the mirror reflects.  It's younger.  For the first time, I am wondering if this young woman is the one that G'ma saw when she thought of herself.

That's not who is visiting me these days, though.  These days, as I wait for my granddaughter to enter the world, I'm accompanied by a very real sense that my own mother is here, waiting with me. 

She's the content old lady who agreed to whatever I suggested.

She's sharing the love that I feel every minute of the day, surrounded as I am by pictures of FlapJilly and Little Cuter occupying one body.  My phone rings and there they are, the girls on the lock screen and G'ma hovering just above my head.  The combination is eerie and lovely at the same time.

Yes, it is as weird as it sounds.  I don't live my life this way.  I'm a fairly grounded individual, for the most part, I think, usually ... and yet I have been having conversations with my mother, I have been crying on her shoulder, I have been missing her and consulting her and noticing that I'm doing it as I'm doing it.

Perhaps there is something to the notion of crossing over to the other side.  Perhaps she's finishing up the work she started the day she died ... the day the pregnancy test revealed the existence of a new life.  She's watched over my girls as they've grown ... creating parking spaces where there were none with her personal parking karma ... leaving me with the knowledge that she was paying attention, up close and personal, while I was so far away.

Now that the baby is just days away from arriving, now that I am packing to join the prospective parents as we wait, together, for her presence, my own mom is coming to say goodbye. 

I'll always have her with me, but her work here is nearly done.  Just as when I kissed her goodnight for the last time, the intensity of her spirit is almost overwhelming. 

I can't prove it.  I feel it.  That's good enough for me.


  1. Trust me, your mother will keep showing up. My dad tells me how to prune. My mother admonishes me when I handle biscuit dough too roughly. They both sit with me when I'm out in the yard, relaxing and enjoying a quiet moment in the cool of the early morning. I feel their pride in what I have accomplished. I see their nods of the head as I ponder the next step. They are still watching out for me. They are amazed at their great grandchildren. Your mother and dad will be too.

    1. I believe it ... thank you for sharing ... I'm not ready to say good bye just yet :)


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