Tuesday, July 16, 2019

We Are Mothers

****So I unearthed my blog after about 5 or so years of not even really thinking about it because I'm living a story right now that keeps scratching at the door to be let out. Tonight I was busily crushing ice and writing things in my head, when the idea floated past: "I should blog this." Not 10 minutes later my husband texted me from 250 miles away and said, "You should blog this." A powerful synchronicity that endures across state lines should not be ignored. My mental hygiene shouldn't be ignored either. Writing and running are two of my most effective forms of mental housekeeping, and running is not really a viable option right now, so here we are.

And here we are: The following post was written 5+ years ago and it was at the top of my draft page, so I clicked it just to see who I was back then on that particular day and it was eerily perfect for an introduction to the story I need to tell. Powerful synchronicity, friends, don't ignore it.****

We shuffle quietly through sleepy houses and put the rest of the socks away. We sit stressed and tightly wound over the chessboard of our finances and move this one here and delay this one and then we can do this one and cross our fingers and hope it's not checkmate. We bake cookies, we stop at the store, we bring gym bags and swim bags and forgotten lunches. We run and we stretch and we sweat and we punish our bodies back to something prior. We bring the mail in and the garbage out. We hold hands and hair and heads. We hold our own heads quietly at night, in the middle of the day when no one is looking. We sneak through hallways to check on little heads bent low over math, over earnest fingers clutching fat pencils that carefully draw the letters on the page. We pick up, we drop off. We read and we weep. We catch the ire and the fire of unwanted responsibility, of life's petty unfairness, of broken hearts, of disappointment.

We woke up sometime in the last several years and realized the mothers are all gone. It's up to us now and it's all our fault. We were woefully unprepared for this. 

A friend calls and weeps over the loss of her home. Her grief travels through the ether and scratches at my eyes. "My family is here and they are safe," she says. "Then you are home," I tell her. It doesn't help.

A friend marks the anniversary of when her family first was not at home and safe. One is gone forever. Gone way too soon. It will never be OK. She writes about her grief in the context of another, more famous mother and is called "worthless fecal matter" by strangers. 

A friend texts late at night in tears because she just doesn't think she can do this any more. It's too hard, too big and she's afraid she's going to mess up. Her son just turned one.

We woke up and we were in charge. We are the ones who take the calls, give the answers, we are the name listed as Emergency Contact and we pray it doesn't come to that.

The weight lies heavy, but in it also lies grace. We become healer, nurturer, believer, warrior. We are the feeders of souls. We are divine in the creation and sustenance of life. We are scarred and scared and fierce and beautiful. We are powerful, resplendent, resilient and we rise.
We rise.
We rise.
And we rise and rise again.

We are Mothers.

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