Monday Morning Musings:
My mom and me. I’m about 3 years old.
“History says don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.”
–Seamus Heaney, “Doubletake”, The Cure of Troy
Lines quoted by Joe Biden at DNC 2020
My Mom’s Last Birthday Party
Remember when blowing out candles on a cake was something we did?
My mother would be ninety-eight today–
we’d hug and kiss, and smile in the way
you do with people you love–when we could and did,
we never thought it all would end, we’d bid
farewell to normal hopes, and sail into tomorrow
on boats barely afloat, fueled by sorrow
and a bit of hate. Yes, for the dissembler and enablers
who’ve made the situation worse. The world’s more unstable,
increasing so every day. And yet they play with clichéd lines–
heavy-handed, rabble-rousing—creating conspiracies, signs
of the time and getting worse. The storms come, the fires burn
still the seasons, turn, turn, turn—
I walk and think of flowers, our year of sitting amidst blooms,
the garden a refuge of sort from boredom, doom, the rooms
We spent a lot of time in this garden.
that confined you—and us–as we kept you company,
week after week, watching for changes, hungrily
asking you to remember the past, but wanting you to see
what you could of now, of me,
and we ached, all of us,
and we’d discuss
each change, each day, the words you’d say
of imaginary pets and our dead father, weigh
hope, laughter, grief in equal measure
and still remember and treasure—
a gift you’ve given me, to lift my face to the sun
to see that there are many, not just one
way to see color, beauty, light
the way it changes on the water and fades slowly into night
Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield
where perhaps I’ll hear a mockingbird sing farewell–
a lullaby rather than a knell–
a song of love, of peace, of rising up–it’s time,
it’s time, that hope and history rhyme.
As some of you know, my mother died in April from Covid-related complications. Today she’d be ninety-eight. We couldn’t be with her when she died, and we haven’t really had a memorial. Tonight my husband, daughters, their spouses, and I will have a virtual dinner get together. I baked my and her favorite cookies over the weekend, and I’m baking a cake today.
Madelbrat (aka, Mommy Cookies
On Thursday, my husband and I had a date night at a winery. We bought tickets a month before, but we were fortunate that the humidity was gone that day, and it was beautiful.