Sunday, 10 May 2015

So much happened and when I looked for you to tell you, you were still gone.

Self Pity

Years have past since my Mother's death and the start of my quilt built from her t-shirts. In fact, my last entry was two years ago. A busy two years of ambitious work, selling our house, moving, travel, watching our children transform into adults, watching our old dog get even older. New marriages. New places. New people. Same old quilt. Same old gnawing feeling of loss and absence. Grief doesn't getting easier, you just get used to it.

Oh, yeah, and it's Mother's Day today. That day, 3 years ago today, in which my mother slipped away from me like a sigh in the dark hour before dawn. Lying beside her dozing, that loud silence of the absence of her breath waking me. Because why would you ever wake your baby girl with anything more than the gentleness of quiet? A dark hour.

Mother's Day...
I am a that little girl in the schoolyard with too short sleeves and crusted cereal on my wrinkled dress, crying behind a thorny bush. All the other little girls have made cherry blossom cut-outs for their Moms, with "Happy Mother's Day" in sprinkled glitter across the top. I weep because I am motherless and the other girls know enough not to taunt me.
Mother's Day...
I am that woman who has just given birth to a healthy, fat baby. As I hold him, looking into his wide open eyes... drinking him in, I am surprised at the euphoric feeling of this new motherhood. Still, a relentless dark cloud nags at me, she will not see this beautiful baby. She will not count his tiny toes with me.
Mother's Day...
I am angry always because she was torn from my life. I want to blame the system but I don't know what "The System" is and so I drug myself into oblivion to curb the anger. I stopped looking for her long ago but I still remember her holding me tightly, knowing that I would fall if she ever let go. I fell, hard and fast.

This day, today, I am every motherless child and until I make it through this first cup of coffee, it is as bad as can be. Am I one of the lucky ones, to have had her as long as I did? Through my own pathetic middle aged tears, I remind myself of that. This Mother's Day, my special day of mourning.
My Daughter and my Mother aligned. 

The Quilt

Once in awhile, I am asked... how's the quilt? It is true, I left it for a while... boxed amongst our things while we travelled and moved. Maybe I didn't really want to finish it? As if it would be an end to this process of relentless mother worship, this grief that I couldn't let go. But I hear my mother's voice saying... "Finish that damned thing, Tamara". Sewing machine oiled and fixed. Quilt trimmed of excess batting (I sewed for a long while without knowing I could trim off the extra batting, quilters: don't ask!). I am over half way quilting each of the 35 squares, determined now to complete this... what it is? this expansive fabric thing that attempts to break my fingers and machine?... art? craft? a thread? a threadbare shirt? a collective memory? a collected memory? a mother's relentless hug?

And between the trimming of threads, my son will bring me soup and love with his smart crooked smile. And between the needle breaking and cursing, my daughter will return home from London, wiser and more beautiful than ever.

Happy Mother's Day 2015.
Stuff and sew! Halfway there!