I listened closely the other night as a woman I love talked about how stuck she feels in her life: she lives in her deceased mother’s home (Mama’s been gone two years) and she feels she literally hasn’t moved on. Well, there’s something to be said for fleeing the coup once adulthood shows up at the door but my friend’s case is different. I think. Her mother’s death was so very devastating. She had been her caretaker throughout the ugliest days of her mom’s struggle with ovarian cancer. She had changed her diapers, fed her, kept her night gowns clean. All this a complete reversal of the days that her mother had cared for her, making sure her daughter was well-tended even after her daughter was grown and immersed in this crazy world. What is strikingly clear to me is the profound bond they share(d). Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that we all want and need? So now that Mama’s fight is ended, her daughter finds comfort and quiet and solace in her mother’s home, in the safety of the walls she probably helped her paint, in the security of her bed (I didn’t ask her if she sleeps in Mama’s bed but even that is okay) walking the kitchen floor they once walked together, staring into the mirrors that once framed her Mother’s face. And I am fine with this, all of it. Sometimes (and this is something I’ve never said out loud) I wish I had my mother’s home all to myself. It’s so changed now that my step mom has placed her art on its walls, her bedspread lounging where’s Mama’s once rested. I barely recognize the place, only its structure is unchanged. The kitchen is still where it was when Mama would bake a roast until it shriveled and surrendered. The three bedrooms still border the hall, the bathroom tile still steady and solid. But that is all. Everything that could be changed, has been and that too is fine. It just doesn’t always make me feel very good when I go home. My aggrieved friend didn’t say when she plans to move but there was nothing in her eyes that said she wants to uproot anytime soon. And this is good. Mother’s love is the best love most of us ever get. It’s the love we spend our whole lives looking for. If that’s what my friend finds when she goes home every evening, then let it be. From the kitchen to the bathroom to the living room, let the soothing beat of Mama’s heart resound. Mommie’s home warm as a womb, never succumbing to the fistfight of cells. Never dying.
%d bloggers like this: