It’s 1:48 in the morning and I woke up thinking about mamma again. I got up, drank some water and turned on the laptop and came across this piece by Jarvis DeBerry. For the last, oh, two or three days my mamma has weighed heavy on my mind. She died in June and the road has been rocky ever since. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her with love, loss, recriminations, regret and desperation. I don’t talk about it much but it eats at my solar plexis like a savage animal some days and I hang on by concentrating on the goodness of her spirit and the hope of reunion in whatever world is out there for us after we leave this one. Jarvis’ words about his mother was a bit of a balm on the open sore of my mothers death and a realization that this is a universal experience in life, one we all must face one day. Your mother is a primal part of your life, like it or not, and when she’s gone a part of you dies too. It’s that simple.

Last night, I sat down just before bed and this came pouring out:

Train 59, City of New Orleans

Now every time I hear that Nora Jones
song, I think of leaving you
alone in a room crowded with
ministering hands and hanging
bags of life sustaining liquid

while outside the window a
bald eagle’s nest in a leafless
cypress tree didn’t amaze me
a tenth as much as your strength
but it’s beauty reminded me

of you so with cloudy eyes I had
to leave my seat in the midst of a
boisterous family, I couldn’t
pretend to be friendly or even be
civil when my entire being wanted
to be with you

again in the kitchen watching you
mix up cornbread and stir the beans
and, later, watching a marathon of
American Pickers on TV.
Something we’ll never do together

I know it will take a while to come to terms with mamma’s death. I know that. But will the ache ever go away?


8 thoughts on “Mamma

  1. I feel the loss and longing here Charlotte and despite the tone of the poem, I love it.. I too recently lost my Mom and there is no quick fix to filling the void.. I send you some strength..

  2. I loss my mom ten years ago. I can’t believe it’s been ten years. The pain never really goes away. For me it’s more of a dull ache than the “ripping of my heart” pain I felt when she first passed. Time has made it a lil easier to make it through the days I’m here without her but, a day doesn’t pass that I want to share something with her. Holidays are hard for me. I’m so sorry for your loss…sending you hugs to hold you and positive energy to see you through.

  3. My mother will be gone four years next month. It still is hard, especially on holidays and the anniversary of her death. And then there are those random, gut-wrenching moments when I miss her so acutely, like one night at dusk last week when I glimpsed a beautiful sunset and remembered how she loved that time of day. But yes, the ache does lessen with time. I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. I lost my mother 20 years ago and I still miss her. I think of how she’d be so proud of my daughter, I want her thoughts on the election. Yes, time does soften the pain, but it’s the missing that never goes away. (((hugs)))

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