As I went to put bobby pins in my hair today, I was caught up in the most amazing memory.
I’m looking in the mirror, and suddenly, I’m watching my mom roll her long, black hair around her finger and then, she uses a bobby pin to hold it in place. Although it is my face, my mom’s face reflects back at me and I smile. I feel eight years old, watching her, the way I did each night before bed for so many years.
Every night, my mom would put those bobby pins in her hair.
Dad, drunk, screaming and yelling, nothing stopped her, nothing he ever did stopped her.
My mom was an amazing, strong and beautiful woman.
She just sat there in her own little space and rolled up her hair.
What a bitter-sweet memory simple, little bobby pins brought to me today.
“I am so proud of you Mum, even more now that I am older, because I have been to war too. Now, I know how hard you had to fight. I have fought the codependency battles. Your unconditional love and your strengths made me stronger. I love you and I miss you everyday.”
A NOTE FROM GRACE (My Mom)
When my children were growing up and got into their “teenage problem” years, I’d become exasperated with them. I’d think, “They’re just like their father!”
Then, one day the light dawned on me, (Marblehead) because after taking a hard, honest look at myself, I realized; they were just like me. The me I had suppressed and hidden deep inside, where no one else could see. I was as wild and rebellious as they, but I had put up a shield of adult perfection, striving to become the perfect mother that everyone expected me to be.
I have now learned that I need to let this child in me come out to play, or the adult becomes a cold hard shell. I must confess, now that I’m older, I have to do this through my books, and old TV movies. My mind wants to run…
Here are a few of my favorite pics from my first fall in Vermont. The colors were incredibly vibrant and two weeks early. This was the view from my front door, for two weeks. My eyes, my soul and my cell phone camera were overwhelmed.
October blues appear out of sync amidst the brilliant reds and golds
watching the leaves change as this heart remains heavy and cold.
Fiery burning colors, so bright they make my head spin
while my eyes smile at the show, my heart refuses to join in.
This time last year, snapping pictures with childlike abandon
dashing from tree to tree from river to mountain to canyon.
That child has been banished, her spirit broken and blue
running from memories that whisper; girl, it was never true.
My first question was, why not everyday? Several women (angrily) asked me that same question when I posted or re-blogged articles related to domestic violence, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse. Well, I told them that I wondered that too, and that I didn’t name the dedication, I was just trying to honor the victims and the survivors because I come from that country and I am fluent in that language.
The question I have asked myself repeatedly this month is this: What does national awareness do for the victims? Does it change the abuser’s mind? Does he (or she) say, “Damn it! I’m not going to swear and scream at you until National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is over, you lucky bitch!”
Does he pay the bills, buy some food, keep his hands off his daughter because it’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Will the family have a month of…
In the midst of my autumn
watching my colors turn
yellows, reds and golds.
When the last leaf dies
storms will throw their icy
weight upon this body old.
Snowflakes will drift and pile
the tree limbs will come down
when boughs fail to hold.
Gifted with four seasons and
it seemed a time so long,
yet quickly, my leaves turned gold.
I pray you remember me as autumn
dancing in the wind, swirling and
bursting with colors so vivid and bold.
we were young
we were wild
we were free.
We were hippies
we were kids
who didn’t know
would not always be.
and we fought
we went separate ways
but we had three children
who got lost in our maze.
People can judge
and guess who’s to blame
but it was me and it was you
who held our love in the flames.
Pushing the line
until it was erased.
I stopped running
you no longer chased.
We burnt our love
like a steak forgotton
on a hot charcoal grill.
We said goodbye
but we also said
I love you
I always will.
The last time
I saw you
Our lips touched
One last time
I held your familiar
you’ll always be mine.
I shook my head no
but my tears said yes.
Tears fell from our eyes
The sunflowers reach for the sun
they don’t know that the summer…
the summer is done.
Still bursting with tiny, green, closed buds
and the mother plant proudly presenting
the huge yellow sunflowers that I love.
It will only take one frosty night
and then my beautiful sunflowers
you will no longer be mine.
To the ground, to the ground
sunflower petals and seeds will fall
but I know…I know you will come back
shooting up in the spring, then
once more my sunflowers
you will be mine
until the first frost of fall.