Robert Browning once said, “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”
Memories rushed in, pain seared through and loneliness kicked in. I was listening a hundred times to Adele’s new single “All I ask” just seconds ago and loneliness stocked up like those pieces of paper on my desk that needed attention. I did not want to write a sad piece, I’ve wanted to believe that I can champion positivism like sort of advocacy in life but discarding these thoughts and denying to acknowledge these emotions is just as worse. I can erupt anytime and I cannot self destruct- no not now, those two pairs of pretty innocent eyes do not need to cuddle my angst. Besides, this is my fight.
For months now I have been thinking of starting a piece on grief because it appears on the peripheral view of my brain like that ghost I am so scared to see, but often I can’t think of how to even begin to synchronize my brain about it. This grief has been at least 25 years late basically because I did not have enough understanding of it. I did not recognize that feeling. At the age of 8, losing the only person who unconditionally loves me, I realized now was both painful and scary but I readily protected myself by denying grief-setting it aside. I cried for only a moment and then nothing. I felt nothing. Only that life has moved on even though I can’t. It’s damaged me, I knew about it but I couldn’t recognize that either. So today, I wanted to grieve and I am not going to stop these tears from welling. I know even up to her last breath she thought of us, I know before she closed those beautiful eyes she was scared of what will become of us. She did not want to end it just yet because she wanted to have those hugs and those kisses. She would love to see us grow and fall in love and get hurt so she could tell us everything is going to be all right and maybe offer that drink of tequila or vodka. She would want to see us get married to people we would love to the end of the world because she knows that love is and would remain the most powerful thing in the world. Oh God, I missed her and I missed her more now that I am in constant emotional zigzag- as I journey through marriage and motherhood. I thought I’d forget she existed and today, I could feel her pain and of her struggle to let go. I could remember that red swimwear- my present before coming home and she never did come home. Instead we were told to see her, she got out of the hospital only that her eyes were forever close. I held on to that until I could no longer remember.
I am not sure how long I’d have to linger this. That part of my existence made me doubt and believe in love like frenemies, constantly fighting over who is right. I thought I am deep but I am just as shallow as the loud and raging river. Consistently, I am oblivious to my true self, on auto-pilot, with thoughts of direction but have no soul altogether. My mother wouldn’t want me to be empty, she’s worked so hard in defining who her kids were, how unique each one were. She was and still persistent, she doesn’t want to be forgotten-resembling an offspring or two that each of her kids bore- from her grand kids’ eyes to skin complexion to those cute nose- she is always reminding us that she is just around. She showed us how choices can greatly affect the people we love; and she made sure to inculcate that struggle was important, intelligence will keep the engine humming but hard work will get that person to where they want to go.
For now, I will reminisce and remember how my mother was so I can re-discover who I was before life took her. Because this fragmented girl is never whole and she needed to be. That girl could be me but it has to stop there. My mother lives within us, within me and I hope she could feel I am bleeding and that I am trying to heal.
I can no longer ask for that one last kiss or that embrace.
I love you. That’s all there is to carry me through.