Mama Moja (My Mama)
She is the first touch, the first word, the first heartache, and the first healer. When we take our place on this stage, and if we are lucky, it's she who is there. She is there when we take our final bow, as well, if not exactly in the same way.
I remember once making my way back to Chicago after a traumatic event. Things were chaotic and dark and without familiarity, but a single beam of light beckoned me gently from the closing distance and so I obliged it, keeping one foot moving in front of the other. That light was you. When I finally saw you, your tender face among faces, something happened that I still cannot explain: whatever the thing is that exists between mother and child, that invisible thread, the queen of all cords, willed me into your arms without any conscious effort of my own. It felt beyond biological or even spiritual. It was as if in that moment, there was no place in the world for me to be other than in your arms.
We were not always good at speaking, but whatever we could not say in words, we said by touch. Another time, after an argument in which I knew I was wrong, I sidled up next to you in bed where you lay on your side crying softly. I wrapped my arms around your waist, and we lay like that for some time, crying and saying sorry. Later, after having arrived home to Hawaii, I checked my email and found something from you. This is what you said to me:
I felt that touch the entire night.....it really made me feel better............"
I have taken shelter in these words over the years, especially once you started alone down the long road of Alzheimer's. In some ways, words are nothing, not even wisps. In other ways, they create the world around us. If I could take all the words in the world and use them to paint the most beautiful picture, they still could not quite capture what I want to say to you. So I am led here.
I love you, Mama. I will know you wherever I find you in this Universe.
Sigana, I am so sorry for your loss! But I am happy that you have these wonderful memories. My mom struggles with dementia, and I am scared of the time she might no longer know who I am.
That brought a tear to my eye, Monica. I’m sorry your mother passed. My father also had dementia at the end, and I felt some relief for him and us when he passed. But I never had with him what you had with your mother. Your words really conveyed it. Thank you.
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