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The Day The Fence Blew Down

What Good Has Come From COVID19?

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The Mother of My Children

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Maa I loved you

Little lines I wish Maa could understand.

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My Lovely Seamstress

My Lovely Seamstress.

She really was the best.

“Courtesy of Misa Ferreira de Rezende”

My mother was the best seamstress that ever lived on earth. Very chic. I could write an entire book about her, in fact, I already did it, but this is another story.

Well, she was very smart, intelligent, active. I know, I know, Mom is Mom, forever and ever. She told us many stories and one of them was about when she lived in “Caxambú”, a nice touristic small city near here. There she learned to sew with a lady, Mrs Anita. So, every day my mom went to Mrs Anita’s house. There they cut the cloth, sewed, talked, and took care of the orders. Smart as my mom was, she soon surpassed her master. This is my deduction, of course, but she really was the best.

One day, Mrs Anita looked and looked to a patch and said:

  • Zezé, look what a beautiful dress it would be if the flap was a little bigger! Have you thought about going to church with a rare jewel-like that?

Returning home, my mother took the flap with her. Like a mathematician poring over an impossible equation, she studied deeply the measurements of the flap, trying to work a miracle with that piece of cloth. She devised a very original outfit and got to work. She worked overnight. Next morning the dress was ready. She made a package and went to work at Mrs Anita’s house. When she got there she said:

  • Mrs Anita, it’s for you!
  • Huh, for me? What is it?

Stunned Mrs Anita saw the dress that had sprung from my mother’s efficiency and creativity. She was overjoyed, maybe it was the best gift of her life. Happier was my artist mother. She realized that giving is far better than receiving.

So my mother told me. So she made beautiful dresses for me and my sister. With teary eyes, I remember her generosity. I like to think that in Heaven Mrs Anita was waiting for my Mom there with that fantastic dress and until today Virgin Mary is sewing with them in heavenly joy.

My Lovely Seamstress was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Boy Oh Boy

I Have Issues (In Response to Sherry McGuinn Mother Prompt)

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A Mother’s words

A haiku about mother’s love

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For my mother — A haiku

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A Letter to My Mother

The courage I have got in my life is the courage I have seen all my life in you.

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For those of us to whom motherhood was thrust upon; amid everything but the fullness of time. Because birth control failed, or something went wrong somewhere, or our partners ( in leisure and pleasure) were everything but ready. And because of the immaturity of time, they turned their backs on us- leaving us with nothing but a broken skeleton of hopelessness for a support system.

For those of us to whom motherhood came as an answered prayer. After countless nights of silent invocation to the Lord amidst despair and mockery. From invested in-laws who wouldn’t give us a moment’s peace, and folks of this world who, many a times, broke us into a thousand pieces with words that were so innocently said,yet so deleterious to our ears. Because every single time they reminded us that it was to stop denying their son the joy of fatherhood; or that it was time to let the world see the fruits of your womb; it reminded you of the yearning of your womb and the bareness of time.

For those of us who could not, or cannot carry a pregnancy to term because our wombs remain too impatient to see a baby to term; and those of us whose wombs are patient enough to see the baby to term, but end up with still babies, in the stillness of the night * My heart goes out to you.

This is also to those of us to whom motherhood came in the perfection of time. Those who may never understand what it means to fast and pray for a child; or to lock oneself in a room for days; hoping and praying that the results of that pregnancy test are illusory because the time or circumstances are not right. Those who will never taste the saltiness of their tears in the ungodly hours of the night after hours and hours of crying themselves to sleep in silent mourning for a child loved and lost before they could feel the warmth of their embrace or the feel of those tiny weeny little fingers playfully wrapped around their little finger…those who never have to remember how it felt to hold their baby in their arms, because they lost them just when their arms were starting to get used to their little bundle of joy .


Bonjour Maman, (Hello Mom)…

Remember…The sleepless nights…

Those first couple of weeks ( or months to some) that tried your patience and resilience in ways you never thought possible? Baby wouldn’t sleep- they cried; a lot, through the night. They got colic and you just did not know what to do or how to do it. You tried everything within your reach, read every single blog about motherhood, watched videos of mothers who appeared to have it all together. But your story was different: nothing came seamlessly, literally nothing. Your emotions overwhelmed you in the motions of this new phase. You wished that someone had prepared you a little bit more for this child. You yearned to be more of a woman for your child because (more often than not) you felt that you were not a mother enough.

Remember…The worry that came with every passing day.

You worried if baby was on track- for their age- per the milestones in your head. Shouldn’t they be supporting their neck by now, isn’t time that they spoke? Shouldn’t they be constructing sensible sentences by now at the bare minimum? Is it too early to wean, have my milk juggies dried too soon? You worried that people could read through your clueless self when it came to raising a child. Tell you what? You did an amazing job and baby was always totally on track; at their own pace, own lane and own time!

Remember…when you finally got comfortable?…. I kid. Parenting has never had a moment of comfort, ever! Either you have been worrying about how your child will turn out to be, or you have been feeling somewhat unsure about the part you are playing in their life. Are they comfortable enough around you to have you as their first point of contact when in distress or going through the motions of life? Do they love you? Do they trust you enough to believe that you had their best intentions at heart even when you gave them the worst of punishments? Are you doing the best for them? Will you make enough to give them a comfortable life and afford them the luxuries that they deserve?

Then, there is social media that always leaves you wondering where you are going wrong…you are not as soft with ‘baby’ as so and so, not giving baby a life as good as that of so and so, not hands-on with baby as so and so…and boy, baby is not as calm or poised as so and so’s baby. Darling, let baby be! Let him/her grow to be his/her own person, will you?

Remember…Losing you life? Life threw you into parenthood and suddenly, every decision you made revolved around your child. You simply could not wrap your head around night outs or weekend getaways. You thought about baby in every decision you made. Would they be comfortable without you? How long would you be able to stay out? Would you need to be back a little earlier to catch them before they slept? Goodness, were you becoming an absentee parent? Your money became their money first, before it was yours. Your needs came second and theirs first. Then, schooling for baby came sooner than you expected and the small luxuries became a thing of the past because your plate of responsibility was fast overflowing with a whole lot of new demands. And you are handling it just fine. *Hugs.

Remember, worrying about losing baby weight and recovering that beach body.

What was once a flawless body with petal soft skin became a package you could barely recognize. Stretch marks, love handles, sunken milk bags and so on and so forth. It tormented you psychologically because the girl in you still craved perfection. She wanted BABE-y to still look at her with the same yearning and desire of old. You hit the gym, you worked out in the house; and when all failed, you resorted to speaking words of affirmation to self….for days, for months…you still do!

* * *

And then one day all pieces just fell together. You realized that there was something utterly flawless in your flawed motherhood journey. You dropped your guard and chose to live each day at a time; embracing your imperfect perfections as a mother. You chose to be THAT Mom, to just try be the best version of a Mom to your child and figure it all out along the way! And now baby proudly says that Mama made them who they are; they say that everything that they turned out to be- they owe it to you. They adore you, they respect you: and every now and then, they look back and laugh at the childhood that appeared so tough to them, yet molded them to the tough gems that they are. To them, you have always been their unsung heroine- a masterpiece in motherhood right from the word go because no one else could ever do the job as well as you! To the world, you are their mother, but to them, you are their world!…and in the school of life, they remember you every now and then, with hearts full of love and gratitude because every little effort you put into raising them went a long way.

*** *

To Mom Tina, you know you have been my superwoman from way back when. Thank you for being my wing woman for every season of my life! And to all you mothers, (and mothers in waiting)- Happy Mothers day! May you always remember the seasons of your motherhood journey with pride because you have done a phenomenal job.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.- Oscar Wilde

Originally published at on May 9, 2020.

Motherhood was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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