Three years have passed since she died… three years and a couple of months. And every year the pain is easier to bear, her presence is harder to feel and her face is a bit more faded in my memory. I think the more that time passes, I realize that one of the things I do have is the understanding of how much I really am my mother. She is not gone because she lives within me, breaths within me, thinks in my mind, speaks through my mouth and comforts through my arms.
I hear these stories from others about what my mom did for others, how she helped to teach others how to raise their kids, and how she was a presence in raising so many. And I remember those things clearly from my childhood. We had so many kinship family members, so many people to share love with. She was a magnet for bringing the most incredible people into our lives.
And then I look at my own life. I think about how I harness her energy and it has become more apparent since she has been gone. I am a mother to children that have been gifted to me by several different means (including through birth), my “family” members are mostly kinship family that I cherish, and I see things from the lens of service and community. I am my mother.
I found myself working in a profession that gives me hundreds of kids throughout the course of a couple of years, kids I genuinely care about, grieve for, laugh with, and love. As a counselor, I am not supposed to cry with my students but I have…. Mostly I cry in private or when I am driving home. I am my mother.
I realize that in several areas of my life, I am the culture keeper. I am the one responsible to create or preserve the culture of that part of my life or community. Preserving family traditions, holding spirituality, promoting communication, supporting creativity, empowering hope and confirming the comfort of relationships that do not fade are so important to me. I am so my mother.
And so today I honor her, I honor myself, and I honor all the others out there like her. I honor the mothers that were present for their children and etched that face of the Goddess in their memory. And I honor those who could not be mothers to their children and stepped aside so that another could be the face of the Goddess for them. And I honor all the daughters that are learning to harness the magic of mothering inside of them, birthing and caring for the many types of creations in this world.
And if you have your mother with you today, and have a relationship where you can, honor and love her. Don’t forget to hug her as much as you can, I miss the hugs the most. If you have lost your mother’s physical presence in your life, honor her as your ancestor and honor her inside of you.
I am really learning to understand that I don’t have to look too far for my mom; I just have to connect to her within me.
I miss you Co-Co, every day.
Happy mother’s day to everyone.
By Crystal Blanton
(I wrote this in 2010, the night before her memorial)
My mother was a soldier, a warrioress in plain clothes
My mother was like a psychic, she knew things only a mother knows
My mother was a healer, medicine with one caress
My mother was a chef, her fried chicken was the best
My mother was a fighter, stubborn with her cause
My mother was a real woman, support without pause
My mother was a forgiver, leaving the dark to share the light
My mother was independent, providing for her own
My mother was brilliant, making the worst conditions feel like home
My mother was beyond words, memories forever sketched in stone
My mother smelled of love, comforting in all ways
My mother had many children, loving in all her days
My mother was like a phoenix, rising from any despair
My mother is now an angel, she had too much love to share
My mother was a lover, loved me till her last breath
My mother is immortal, still living beyond death
My mother is forever with me, in my heart she is mine to keep
I will always miss my mother, I will see her when I sleep.