When I was younger, I was reluctant to share my writing. It was so . . . personal.
When I was in my twenties, my husband, kids, and I moved west. My parents lived in the east. So Mama and I didn’t get much of a chance to hang out.
When my parents visited, Mama and I stayed up late. We both understood the way households work. If we wanted to talk–really talk–we had to do it when everyone was asleep.
One night, I got out my writing binder. I shared a poem I’d written. I wanted her not to worry about me. I wanted her to know I was stronger than she realized.
You please me
O’ babbling brook
water giggling as it gurgles downstream to the sea
Heed not the words of those who say
you are out of your own control
Pay no mind to those who say you are a mere
drop in the bucket
But smile along your way
knowing that within you
lies the power
to turn mountains to sand.
June 26, 2002, Mama was diagnosed with Leukemia. I couldn’t be with her right away so I sent the poem over the phone lines. I wanted to remind Mama how strong she was. And she fought–as hard as she could. But it took her a month later.
She was a kind and amazing person.
I miss her.
I hope I always do.