Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hear Me, Girl (A Letter to my Mommy)

It was one of those perfect days -- the sky shone clear and blue, the sort of blue that could never manage to muster sadness, if that were what it was attempting to accomplish. The sun shone bright and fiery promising.
We had just finished our day of errands and she was leading me, twisting and turning, down roads I'd never traveled before -- I am quick to forget these stop lights ran, compass infused, in her bloodstream. I came to a stop sign and she told me to go slow and then pointed.

"There it is," she whispered. Tears pushed, racing and tearing, down her face - her big, brown eyes glowing lightening live with the memories of a time I will never share with her.
"That's my house."

Seeing where your mother was raised is not easily described; my heart beat fast - imagining the bedroom where she cried quietly at night, not wanting anyone to know the loneliness that crept in and camped out in the arteries of her heart -- never knowing, then, she would come to produce, raise, and shape a green-eyed girl who lived lonely loud - laced in the pulse with wild trying its hand at breaking out.

I imagined a young, dark-skinned version of her drinking coffee early in the morning with her mom, hanging on every word; it triggered, somewhere down low, the realization that there are infinite amounts of information I will never know about my momma.

She can tell me her favorite color and her favorite meal prepared by my grandma; she can tell me about her first crush, her first best friend, the fact that she was never invited to a prom dance, but I won't ever know --

I won't ever know the reverence in her voice when she whispered to her mom, goodnight. I won't ever understand the emotions cultivated early on toward her father and his habits, his addictions. I won't ever know the young girl whose muscles ran lean and strong in a chlorinated pool on sticky, hot summer days.

I pray her giggle danced then like it does now -- across my memory, linking itself deep into my bone marrow, never to be forgotten.

It is within the deepest parts of my fractured heart that I fling hope, high and fervent, that her mommy knows just how much my mommy loved her - just how much she misses her every single day.
I watch the tears roll, yearning and heat riddled, down her cheek and squeeze her hand.

I intake breath, deep and fast, and the brain won't quit - it's just always dancing . . .

I didn't always make it easy on us, mommy love, but you always fought for me and championed me for the world to bear witness.

You've taught me life isn't always fair and sometimes the eyes' environment is just downright dark, but there is light - ever gleaming and continually searching us out.

You are a woman who laughs with me and holds me afloat when I've thrown myself against that brick wall just one . . . more . . . time . . . 

I don't know of what scars childhood left on your eternally bronzed skin and there is so much of your history I just won't ever be gifted to have as my own. . .

but you are my history.

My history, you are. And the keeper of secrets and the forever sounding board and the lady with patience as long and constant as the succession of breaths taken in and pushed back out -- you are gold, pure and true and treasured.

I don't know what all you learned long before I came along, but there aren't words to be uttered that properly portray how every minute of all of my days is woven with the knowledge you invested in me so long ago . . .

We belong to each other, you and me.

If I could tell your younger self the ways you would grow up to change the world I hope I would muster the courage to whisper sure and sound --

you will do nearly all of it just exactly right
please, girl, don't listen to the anger surged voices that tell you otherwise
you will be a lighthouse in the handmade darkness of a young girl who laughs like you and argues like you.
you will do nearly all of it just exactly right
hear me, girl, because you will make promises and you will keep them (keep them accurate and right) --
you will be the warmth when she needs it and you will be the strong voice of reason when she needs plucked out of messes of her own making.
you will do nearly all of it just exactly right
understand, girl, that by giving rules instead of hand-outs and not giving in to shrieking, laced with fury, fits you will be a momma first and a friend second
you will make her stronger in the face of a world that wants her weak and damaged.
you will do nearly all of it just exactly right
I hope you're grasping, girl, what is being said
you will do nearly all of it just exactly right

You are doing all of it just exactly right
because you taught me right from wrong and then gave me the freedom to move around within both.
because you loved me stronger and fiercer than any other soul in this world and you still do.
because you saw our differences and you taught me how to dance within them, not against them.

Girl, if I could tell your younger self the ways you would grow up to change the world, I hope I could manage the clout to whisper again and again and again --

Please listen, you are doing nearly all of it just exactly right and you are changing the world, you are

because you cultivated the wildness in me and taught me the pertinence of remaining true to my caged heart.

I would tell you, solemn and deep and mixed high and low with emotion, that you would grow up to change the world

because you taught me how to thrive.
because you taught me how to love.
because you taught me how to smile.

Girl, you will grow up to change the world because, differences and tantrums and hard to love circumstances aside, you never stopped trying to give me all I could want in the world.

because you changed my world.

(October 27th is my momma's birthday -- make sure to wish her a beautiful, happy, and blessed one.)

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