Friday, September 20, 2013

Stitching On

the.setup
tactile
at.first
projected
pieces
layered
97 years. We said goodbye to Jeff's Grandma yesterday, mostly just family gathered to remember and celebrate such a long, long life. I brought the baby and Roman a little later than everyone else to accommodate my nursing schedule and a long day for little ones. We turned into the cemetery and after a quick look around through the car windows and sweltering heat, Roman asked, "Is Nani here?" We've always called my mom Nani. "Nani is everywhere, sweetie'" I imagined out loud. "Her name is here now... on a pretty bronze plate, would you like to go and see it after we pray for Great Grandma?" A very firm and excited yes from the boy.  I've done the simple arithmetic in my head at least 100 times. 97-68=29yrs. Then the question. Why one so long, and another not nearly? I will never know. And it's not important, but the math. Over and over. We were glad for this sweet old woman, breathing her last, after wishing for it almost everyday since she lost her husband. I think she finally just willed it to happen, and it was granted. As we said our goodbyes under the small tent, I couldn't help but peer through some heads to my mother's resting place, a few hundred yards away. Could I see it? Yes, just past the statue of Ruth, just on top of that stone wall, and one row over... the pink and white flowers I could barely make them out I thought. Just past the bright yellow. And every few minutes I kept checking. Could I still see it? Yes. Still? Yes. Right There. I held Roman's sweaty little palm and we walked down the hill, carefully over and around other names, years, grass, anthills, flowers, hopes. We edged along the road towards her name, so much heat. He insisted on balancing along the curb, one foot in front of the other, which made us go slowly. My mind slower. Forced all of me to make the walk. My head, heart and body. I shed my black sweater. The same one I wore in those days. The black dress. The same one I wore that day. I recalled (for the 1000th time) how I told her I was not going to buy a black maternity dress. Right after she told me who should be her pall bearers. It was March, almost Spring. "Well okay, I don't think you'll have too," she said with the sweetest smile. But I did. I told myself that since it was also a nursing dress, that I would be nursing in it by the time I needed it, certainly. Certainly. Certainly. The math. Only a few months till the baby comes. Certainly I'll have them both.  Together.  At least for the tiniest amount of time.

Today I am in control of the smallest little things. Some thread. Some fabric. Should I nurse at 11:15? Or 11:20? I'll decide and then that will be what happens. And I will stitch on and on and on. Spring. Summer. Even now Fall. I go.

We reached her plate, Roman rubbed his hands over the letters, but quickly pulled back from the piping hot metal.  Then he wanted to get in the shade with his sister under the huge oak tree nearby so he ran, dodging plates, and I felt he should be more careful, or respectful.  Or that he should linger with me there longer, over her grave.  But then I corrected the thoughts.  And watched his joy with my own.  Because she is everywhere.   xoxoAM

43 comments:

  1. This is the most touching and beautifully raw piece of writing. I have tears in my eyes. She is with you. And Roman. And the wee one. And all of the family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, my. Yes, our moms will always be everywhere. And some day we will see them again. xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Anna, I am so so touched and teary eyes...
    I am sure she is everywhere!
    Maybe you already know this piece of Mary Elizabeth Frye. It helped me a lot whenever someone left my life, maybe it helps you too:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of this writing! So inspired. <3

      Delete
  4. Oh! This must've been painful to write! I "lost" (I hate it when people use that term; they're not "LOST!") anyways, my brother died at 21... It's been 7 years but I still miss him so so so bad... This touched a cord in my heart! Love and hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely, AM. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous3:08 PM

    We do the math often and try to make sense of it. We do not understand but must trust in the Lord. What a beautiful and touching post. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know if I posses the words to make this comment sounds as sincere as I would like it to be, but I hope in some way you can grasp my sentiments despite distance and strangeness and the rawness of such pain. I have loved your work for a long time though rarely comment, but just wanted to say I am thinking of you and praying for your family and that you may find some peace in the strength and joy of each other. Your writing is so clear and strong, so true...it seems she must live on in all the words and beautiful things you create.

    ReplyDelete
  8. And still the love for our mothers grows ever deeper.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The beauty of your words touched my heart...

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is lovely. You have moved me to tears. Such a tough year for you but also filled with so much joy and love. Bitter + sweet.

    (I wish I could give you a hug now.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. dolly5:51 PM

    Oh..... You make me weep. I lost my dad just three weeks before having my son - that summer and the year that followed was a burst of heartbreak and grief and beauty and love.

    Your post also reminded me of this poem: http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/440/selected_poems

    ReplyDelete
  12. You know, you are really awesome. I have been reading you blog about a year now, and am always amazed at how you can write! Always so meaningful, and descriptive! I can never stop reading till I reach the end. I am so sorry for another loss. I just wonder at your glorious attitude, you level of love for everyone, and your activity level. It's amazing. Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs to you and your family,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am sure your mother knew in life how much she was loved by you and your family. It is so clear in everything you write

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing this...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautifully expressed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So lovely ~ so sorry for your loss ~ I know how it feels to lose someone so young and someone old. Thinking of you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  17. beautiful and heart-rending, woven together...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hugs to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love to you and your family Anna Maria xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  20. You know it doesn't matter how long a person was here on this earth, it only matters that you loved them fiercely while they were here and that they never leave your heart. My brother lost his 57 yr old wife last year to cancer, I told him to look at his children, and his grandchildren - you can see your wife right there -still living - for you to enjoy everyday that you are still here. I grieve for my Mama who died this June, she was my best buddy, she lived a long 87 yrs. I see here in me and my daughter, and in my brother and his children and their children - her life goes on and on. Bless you for posting your thoughts, it's so important for your soul. Ani in NC

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you, Anna Maria. You have consoled so many of us.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful remembrance of your mother. I relate so much to you because my Dad died almost a year ago from cancer. It was unexpected and quick (only 2 1/2 months from diagnosis)and he was far too young, only 65. I think about you often. I love the idea that she is everywhere, so is my Daddy. hugs

    ReplyDelete
  23. So beautiful and touching! Thank you for sharing so transparently.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jenny A.10:35 PM

    Beautiful thoughts and words, Anna Maria. Thank you for sharing them!

    ReplyDelete
  25. beautiful post!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am sorry for your loss. If you ever decide to take a break from textiles, I am certain that you would have great success as a writer. Wishing you some joy today.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful. You use words so well...

    ReplyDelete
  28. just beautiful.lovely. thankyou for sharing your sorrow and comfort with us.. it is such a painful journey and yet so moving. lovetoyous. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us. I was deeply touched by your words and all they conveyed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. So beautiful. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer on May 26th. I miss her so much. I just want to talk to her again and tell her what's going on in my life. She was my best friend, and it just doesn't feel the same when I talk to my fiends and family. I know she's around me, but it's still so hard and empty. I just want you to know that your posts really touch my heart and make me feel better. I'm glad my mom isn't suffering anymore, but I really miss taking care of her. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand and share your every word. Sending love, xoxoAM

      Delete
  31. ((AM)) yes, the math is the only thing keeping us from coming completely unraveled sometimes.

    Thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a beautiful and touching post. A lovely tribute to all.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I lost my mom to cancer on Jul 11 this year, soon after you lost yours and my mother was also 68 when she passed away. You know, I cried when I was reading your post after your mom passed away, because my mom was sick at the time and I knew she did not have much longer either. You have no idea how many times I did similar math in my head and asked myself, why. Why are some people so blessed to have their parents or even grandparents to live well after 90 and my mother died at such a young age and so suddenly? It makes me feel a little better thinking that she is in a better place now. Both of them. Thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am behind on your blogs but wanted to comment to you. I am one of her quilting friends that met in NC. We shared the same cabin the last year she was able to attend.

    We laughed at the stores she told about her wonderful family and the grandkids. I smile because I knew her.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Gorgeous art wall!! I love how you used different mediums including the needlepoint! Just lovely!
    Jennelise

    ReplyDelete
  36. Upcoming Latest cars and vehicles, Latest Mazda Models, Racing Cars, International Sport Cars, Concept Cars, PS-Pod, Strange Vehicles, Nissan, Royce Corniche, Ford Concept Cars, Strange Vehicles, Mercedes and More Sport Cars and Vehicles with Pictures and Info
    WorldLatestVehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Upcoming Latest cars and vehicles, Latest Mazda Models, Racing Cars, International Sport Cars, Concept Cars, PS-Pod, Strange Vehicles, Nissan, Royce Corniche, Ford Concept Cars, Strange Vehicles, Mercedes and More Sport Cars and Vehicles with Pictures and Info
    WorldLatestVehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I lost my dad this past summer. Your thoughts are so touching, and I feel your loss. Thanks for so generously sharing with us all.

    ReplyDelete