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Has anyone seen my Mom?

The Princess

“Courtesy of Misa Ferreira de Rezende”

Has anyone seen my Mom? She is a beautiful woman, she is a beautiful person.

My mother was an extraordinary person (her favorite adjective). She was a sui generis, pretty, brave woman. She had a harmonious face, a perfect complexion, a sharp nose and elegant posture. She looked like Ingrid Bergman. In fact I always thought she looked more like Ingrid Bergman than Ingrid Bergman herself. She was a tough woman, tough, but not rough. Whenever a problem arose, although serious, she just said: “Well, what a silly thing!” And so, in that way, she made it seem that the problems did not exist or were too small before the greatness of the soul and of life.

My mother was generous. She never let a poor man leave our house without a meal that he heated up. When she arrived from the market with heavy bags, she used to say, smiling, that when her last hour came, and this was for us far away as the sun from the earth, well, if she had nothing more to present to God, she would show the bags that supported us, she would show Him her work as a housewife, that is, the grand simplicity of life.

Among the few things she brought in her simple wedding outfit, there was an embroidered towel for a round table. It was beautiful! There was a princess dressed in blue with sparkling little stones. When I was a girl, I used to rotate the table to feel with my fingers the softness of the fabric of the princess dress and to check the shine of the stones.

As the embroidery followed the whole towel, the story of the princess was showed in different pictures. She walked in a flowery path and she was always surrounded by butterflies, squirrels that hid here and there. So, the princess was always with these beings from fairy tales and enchanted princesses in which the world is perfect, in which everyone is happy forever. The sun was always shining, there were no terrible storms, the smiles were calm and certain. Nobody got sick, nobody died, everything was happiness!

However, in the moving of cities we had to make, I never saw the towel again, nor did I hear from the princess.

“Courtesy of Misa Ferreira de Rezende”

It happened that one day, unexpectedly as life and death are like, the merciless boatman arrived and brought a special boat, one of these to fit one person. My Mom was not afraid because fear was something that did no exist for her. “Well, what a silly thing!” And there she went, eager to be with God.

Mothers should not die, especially mine! It sounds weird, it disrupts the order of creation, makes it look like something is wrong with the harmony of the universe. I felt a huge pain inside my heart. It was the hateful sadness that came with suitcases ready to stay and I had nothing left but to open the doors for it and welcome it as a friend.

Death is a tyrant, but it is authentic, it is true. Life ends up deceiving us. As the poet said: “Life makes us fond, better it was all gall! Showing to be good sometimes, she refines to be cruel.” Life gives us the bonds and teachs us to play with them. We are used to tighten the ties with hard knots that later we can’t manage to untie. And then Death comes and cuts them off with mathematical precision, just like the execrable and competent executioner used to drop the blade at once, without compassion.

I know things have to be this way, but homesickness hurts. Has anyone seen my Mom? I need to talk to her once more, after all, there are always things to say. If anyone saw the towel of the princess, I need to know. I still want to feel the softness of that dress, I need to know the end of the story. At that time I thought the towel would accompany me for a lifetime, as well as the princess, my beautiful and enchanted princess.


Has anyone seen my Mom? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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