BLOG

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." – Maya Angelou

Ode to a Mother, PART II

Celebration of a life lived. In memoriam: June 9, 2017

Inadequate at best—


attempts


to pen a shining life


of ninety and three years;


like water through fingers, she stole away


indisputable, unstoppable, to her final place of rest



Farmgirl,


the first after three boisterous boys—


she joked with her initials: BJH


Baboon, Jackal, Hare;


but wiped away tears with brothers as tutors:


“pedal harder!” they chided at her fear that she’ll fall and unfurl


 

Kindergarten teacher,


A class of forty bristling brats


receptive little rascals, who drank her every word;


and evenings she’d learn, and sketch from live anatomy


soon modeling with clay, the fingers deft—


sculpt a figure bold, from a posing unclothed creature


 

When the African interior


came recruiting—the Mission field—unflinching, she heeded the call;


there, amongst mopani, bougainvillea, and the sweetest wisteria


a shy preacher she met, a zealous man, and occasional big game hunter.


Five children, she birthed—discovered her role—of protector, of mother and rock,


when the missionary would journey for weeks on end as if all superior


 

Her brave, her vibrant spirit


he’d hammer and nail (in secret at first)


then justify the orthodox preaching, his incessant teaching—


her sculptures, her figures verboten


against the second commandment, he claimed


down the long-drop, they went—each a quiet blow—all to her merit


 

And yet dearest Mother,


you never recoiled


alone and unshakable—in the midst of belittling.


You clung to this truth:


“My grace is sufficient,”


refusing, rebuking, the constant barrage—each attempt your soul try to smother


 

You were the one to pick us up


when off the bicycles we came—


Dad, away, on yet another Mission’s trip.


A fleeting hug, a sideways kiss,


dabbing of mercurochrome


on each abraded knee and palm, then coaxed us on, “get up, get up!”


 

High school teacher,


wife of a preacher, who manned the fort


playing: mother and father,


prosecutor, counsel for the defense, and keeper of the peace—


stretching her pennies


to feed and clothe the clan—more often than none, her distinguishing feature


 

Your teaching


on girlfriends and boyfriends was clear—


“keep them at arms’ length,” you always admonished.


We laughed and we chortled,


as we hugged you firmer, kissed you harder,


whenever so gently you pushed us away—‘cause this you said, was breaching


 

Middle aged we grew


while the two of you grew old—


astounding to us, your stance,


loyalty beyond imagination,


shrugged your shoulders broad at his derisive declaration—


of the prophecies, you have no comprehension, but we know, ‘twas untrue


 

Grandmother,


you introduced the grandchildren


to the potter’s wheel,


the art of centering the clay, while pedaling the wheel—


fire up the kiln, bake big and small creations;


painted in the brightest colors—then, baked them all once more—do bother


 

Mother-dear,


you never claimed perfection, to be a parent without fault—


and yet, we expected that, and so much more;


to keep us safe, protected, shielded from his lashing tongue, the constant hurt.


And now—we mourn your sudden passing—a mere ten days behind him,


We pause, unwilling and uncertain—perchance the pain of healing that we fear


 

Inadequate at best—


attempts


to pen a radiant life


of ninety and three years;


suffice to say, dear Mother, we were blessed.


‘Till we meet again—without pain, or fear or sorrow—until then, do rest.



(Far better is it to celebrate a life lived, than to merely mourn their passing. Thank you for reading!)


Get the prequel to my book Be Silent 

A calling can consume. It is one thing for a driven preacher to turn big game hunter. It’s an entirely different narrative when a wounded 2,200-pound bull is turned into a killing machine . . . 

Your FREE book is waiting!

(What are YOU waiting for?)


Name Required field!
Email* Required field!

0 Comments

Add Comment

View Details
Sold Out