|the "weeping buddha"|
okay. i have heard crazier things.
once, when i was visiting marlene, i noticed one of the figures on a table, and i decided to test the theory and rub its back. mind you, i was not actively grieving over anything at the time, rather, i was excitedly anticipating a lovely homemade dinner with conversation from the aforementioned marlene. but i thought to myself, there is the buddha figure, what have i got to lose? so i rubbed its back.
the backs on the weeping buddha figures are usually very muscular, which, in my opinion, accentuates the poignancy of the weeping. you might agree with me that there is great power in the image of a strong man displaying the vulnerability of emotional pain.
|very weeping buddha-ish|
my mother lost a child, a daughter, but i never saw her even once approximate the weeping buddha pose. had i known of the depths of her loss and grief, i surely would have purchased a weeping buddha for her to rub. as it was, i was scarcely aware of the incident at all, due mostly to the fact that it happened before i was born, but also due in part to my mother's reluctance to talk about her daughter's death--at least not until i asked her about it as an adult. when i did finally discuss this with her, i discovered that my mother was nearly destroyed when it happened. fortunately for her (but not so fortunately for me), i popped out a month after my sister's death and demanded immediate and constant attention, thus distracting her somewhat from the paralyzing grief. the role that i played in this drama was one that i never auditioned for, nor was it one that my mother intended on casting me in, and yet it was a role that created a certain unbreakable bond between me and her--even if it was a bond encased in ice.
and yet let it not be doubted: my mother loved me beyond the stars and the moon. of this there is no question.
|Mom as a young woman|
mother's day used to be hard, but now it is more like valentine's day and easter--just another holiday that everyone else celebrates while i go about my usual day. and yet, and yet, it seems a bit unfair that i no longer get to celebrate the holiday just because mom is gone. i have written previously about what i would do on mother's day if she were still alive, and i hold to that imagined plan, but these days i am more likely to reminisce about how close we always were, and how much i miss her on a daily basis. there is a bittersweet gift one gets when their mother dies, in that you stop being someone's child. figuratively speaking. that, in itself, is an unexpected "gift from beyond the grave", in that it has forced me to consider my own legacy in this world, knowing that one day i too will die.
but not yet!
with the average life expectancy rising to the age of 100, i am with all probability square in the middle of my life, as it were. though i often miss being my mother's "child", i do relish being an adult with purpose and agency, a celebration that could not have happened had my mother not given birth to me in the first place. in that respect, i will always be my mother's child. and so i leave the grief behind, somewhat, and move into cherished recollection and increasing gratitude, because, let's face it, i am alive.
happy mother's day, mom. happy mother's day, from your child.
|the last picture i have of us together, in the care home. she was holding her "baby doll".|