Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Picture

*Big-time thanks to my dad for sending this to me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Songs My Mother Sang To Me

There is a picture that I have been trying to find. It is not in the box with the other black and white photos from my childhood. There is a blank spot in the album that it belongs in, even though every other photo from the series is in it's place. In the lost shot my mother is holding me in her lap, her dark head bent over mine as she feeds me from a spoon. I know that I have the damn thing, but I can't find it, which is typical, I guess.

Grief is not the same animal two years out. Hell, I am not the same animal two years out, and neither is she.

My days are filled with things that my mother taught me. This week, especially, I can't even do laundry without feeling her over my shoulder, her voice in my ear. I have moments when I think, "Mom" out of the blue and then have to fight for breath while my heart pounds and I try not to go into the light. I really wish I could find that picture.

I wish that I could write something perfect that would express how much I love her, how much I miss her. My sister said that she missed kissing Mom. If I close my eyes and concentrate really hard I can still feel Mom's cheek against mine, her hair under my hand. I can hear her voice, smell her perfume. I want to write something that could bring her back to me.

Wanting that picture is driving me crazy, and I really hate this idea, but it has occurred to me that it's just a stupid analogy. I know in my head that I have the damn thing somewhere, but I can't see it, and not seeing it isn't enough.

I sing for my mother when I'm alone in the car. She used to push me to sing for her, on tape, onstage, in public, and then she would complain about my song choices. "Would it kill you to sing something upbeat?!" she would say. The answer to that, of course, is still, "Yes. Yes it would." But I remember everything that you said, everything you taught me. I remember all of the songs that you sang for me. I am listening all the time, trying to follow both your examples and your horrible warnings, and I still love you very, very much.