at 93 these words were texted by my sweet momma on her iphone, about a week before she died three years ago. she was amazing. and damn strong. “whoa!” i think, re-reading this text, “you go, momma!”
“…more than i say…more than i speak…more than you realize…” like every mom she walked the thin line between not saying enough and saying too much. The Girl and The Boy are practiced at rolling their eyes at me and, i guess, i must have done the same to my momma. so there’s that moment you dig in and, ignoring every quivering fibre in your body, you do not say anything. you notice, you think, you know. but you remain quiet. for you also know that the lives you have gifted into this world are not yours to live; they are only yours to love, to hold closest to your heart, to support in every way you can, to lift up when they stumble or fall.
“don’t. underestimate me.” so true, momma didn’t want to be under-estimated. her spirit in the world accomplished bigger things than most professions can tout. her kindness was rippling, her curiosity abounding, and her fortitude…that sisu. you don’t want to be the retail/corporate/organization recipient of the “write-a-lettuh” vindication; momma was going to win. she “wasn’t born in ny for nothin” as i say. the day after the extra surgery she had just one day after her double-mastectomy a few months before this text, she sat on the edge of her hospital bed and called us “idiots” for not getting back on the road home. she was going to be “just fine” and she was more worried about us on the road than herself. that’s a mom for you. that’s my sweet momma.
beaky dug in. she was engaged and big in the world. and her sisu made her powerful. she was wise even in silence. she knew, even if i didn’t tell her. like moms everywhere, she was tuned in, in ways that made her ever-present. i always counted on that. i still do. she is on the edges of this earth, where the wind carries her to me.
i can only hope that one day my own children realize that – no matter what – i am right there. i know more than i say. i think more than i speak. i notice more than they realize. and never, ever, underestimate me. because as their momma, i will go to the ends of the earth for them. just like my mom.