I am my mother’s daughter. I walk like her, talk like her, sway to music only I can hear the way she does.
Sometimes my mom and I joke that we are soul twins, separated by age so as not to cause too much trouble. When I was growing up, especially when I was a teenager, we fought fiercely. I mistook us for oil and water, never to mesh. As I’ve grown, as our relationship has morphed and deepened, I find the opposite to be true. Right now she’s away for a conference and mini vacation and I find that I miss her deeply.
For four years I lived away from my mom. This trip home is temporary and yet I find myself both healed and in awe…my mom really is my best friend. We aren’t perfect but I’ll be damned if there’s a stronger person in the world than she. I think I come in second place…I’m not sure. I’ll be honest, these thoughts are forming as I type. It’s impossible to know the strength of my mother without knowing the women before her. My grandma, my great-grandma, and so forth were the steel behind the families they raised.
Collectively we’ve worked through sexual assault, abuse, poverty, ignorance, racism, and the strange betrayal of your child being the new “black sheep,” of the family.
(I want to include my paternal grandmothers here as well, for the same aforementioned reasons. I’m mixed! Of course my parents took their own route, race aside.)
I digress. My mom is my twin, my soulmate, my strength, my example, my inspiration.
I am my mother’s daughter, swaying to a strange beat. I follow the call of my heart, the promise of peace that comes with trusting myself. I am my mother’s daughter, a moody tempest of fire and ice; you will know my mind.
I am my mother’s daugher, hair a million colors and my smile speckled with tears. Watch my weathered healer’s hands grasp a bottle, listen as I whisper reassurance to myself. Watch my gentle healer’s hands wipe stranger’s tears, a privilege I hold most sacred.
I am my mother’s daughter, and all in my domain is protected and loved. Betray my kindness and feel the absence of my soul in your space;a hearthfire gone to cold ash. I am the warmth of a gas stove in a small house, reaching every corner.
I am my mother’s daughter, Oak and Willow sharing space, being all my children and friends need of me, and sometimes all I need of myself. I am quiet sacrifice, service, strength. I am my mother’s daughter and I make myself. If I cannot topple the wall before me I will drown it out. I am unstoppable.
I am my daughter’s mother, I told her that once. I am beautiful and full of life, sharper than a butcher’s knife and sweeter than honey. I am my mother’s daughter’s mother, full of wisdom from the women before me.
I am my mother’s daughter, beauty wild and unrefined. I am timeless like the goddess who bore me. I do not care for your mundane materialism; touch me with music and action. Reach my soul and maybe you will know me.
I am my mother’s daughter, nurturer of the broken. My memory is generations deep, my forgivness earned. The love I offer is unparalleled. Do not ask for the ocean if you can’t swim in a pond.
I am my mother’s daughter. I am Aphrodite and Ares, I am Diana. I dance beside the fire with the same body that cares for your ancestors. I lay beside the river, letting my last breath carry October’s leaves across the shore. I am THE woman, and I am the women before me.
Mom, I hope you like this impromptu bit. I love you endlessly.