Poetry, Unbound

I am

the taste of vanilla
melting into a concoction
of pecans and bliss
on Thanksgiving
when the warmth
of family is rising
like homemade bread.

The laughter plumes into the air,
and I smell the stale cigarettes
on my Mother’s hands
as she kneads the dough  –
their strength molding my world.
A twinkle of teeth flash
through open mouths
as a symphony of guitars
crescendo in a sense of urgency.

These are the moments I remember
while I lie in bed wrapped
in the warm embrace
of my mother’s cashmere blanket.
Salty tears catch at the corner of my mouth
and the bitterness
of these life moments irrevocably lost
stings like the wooly worms
I stepped on as a child.

“Baby girl, you need to stop worrying.
Dry your tears.  It’ll sting like hell today,
but in the morning it’ll feel better.”
If I close my eyes tight enough,
I can still smell her hair, freshly washed,
as she bent down to kiss
my seven year old foot.

In this moment I can taste
the bittersweet mix of
3 Musketeers, Dr. Pepper, pain medication,
and the release of a final labored breath.
In this moment I remember
she is
and I am.

Featured Image: Pixabay – “Heart” by castleguard (CC0 Public Domain)
Musings, Unbound

Taking Flight

A little over a year ago after my mother passed away, I sat down and created a space to share my thoughts and writings. This space, actually. In my ambition, I thought: “Surely, I am at the stage in my grieving process where I can begin to write and heal my heart.” Turns out, grief is a tricky thing, and it is not as linear as I once believed.

On July 8, 2015, my mother passed away. Even today when I say this out loud to people, the air goes out of my lungs and there is the sting of tears as I remember the switches being turned off, the audible silence of breaths being held, the unending screech of a flat-line, and the soft, damp patter of the CPAP machine artificially inflating her lungs even though she had already flown away. Then this millisecond memory passes, my breath returns, the tears don’t fall, and with a bittersweet smile, I can say, “My mom passed away. She prayed for God to take away her pain, and He did.”

It’s hard to deny that she’s no longer of this earth, no bargaining to be made, so I’ve spent the better part of the past year and a half between anger, depression, and acceptance. Admittedly, acceptance has been tough. It’s hard accepting that the world just moves on when you know it’s lost something so precious. Yet the sun continues to rise, oceans continue to kiss their many shores, oxygen continues to fill your lungs, you wake up, you go about your day, you go to sleep, and you find that, after awhile, you are moving on, too.

That’s really what this is all about. Moving on. Taking flight. Letting go of the pain and filling myself with purpose. Finding truth and solace in the infinite arrangement of 26 letters. I am still grieving and wrestling with anger and depression, but I accept that this is natural. I accept that, though this will never go away, it will lessen over time. I accept this grief, slightly cracked and antiqued on the edges but beautiful nonetheless, is a part of myself.

A little over a year ago after my mother passed away, I sat down and created a space to share my thoughts and writings. Today, I give true thanks to her memory and take flight.

Featured Image: Pixabay –  “Dandelion” by Comfreak (CC0 Public Domain)