Every afternoon I visit my mother – to lift her fluttering spirits, to sift through the mail, to discuss issues with the family cat, to wash some dishes, to see that the garbage cans are on the curb, awaiting their departure. The past few years have not been…winning, and I would do all I can to combat their reckless demoralization.
I visit her because her happiness is a vital catalyst to my own contentment. It is an elusive ingredient as treasured as a pool of gold coming to life in an alchemist’s hand. Her wit and laughter is incisive, subtle and madcap – a cat’s cradle spun by a lovely mind. And I would have that fabric remain strong, and not become bleak and threadbare.
I visit her not only because it is a daughter’s obligation, but it is also my tendency, my preference. By myself, I can be bleak and quiet. But together we are comical, critical and satirical. And in the end I always come away with my pride in my mother, in our unique, magnificent relationship, affirmed and confirmed.
And every afternoon when I leave I give my mother a hug. I can feel her bones as small and delicate as a bird’s. And I hug her hard, to keep her safe and to keep her from flying away like a wayward sparrow eager to rejoin her kin.
Happy Mother’s Day – I’ll be over tomorrow, and for days and days after that.
I love you very much.