songs for mom

This lyric caught my breath in my throat and stuck there and brought tears: “And could I die in my mother’s arms?

I thought my heart would stop for a minute. It seemed like the most poignant wish in the world, to die in the arms of the one who gave you life. That hit me simultaneously with the fact that I can’t make the same wish, and that instead the reverse happened. Of course, a daughter should outlive her mother. Of course. She shouldn’t lose her just as she’s figuring out how to be a woman instead of a girl, though. (Of course, I’m so grateful to have had her as long as I did. I can’t imagine losing her as a young child. The timing just seems cruel to me. I was right on the verge of things I should have shared with her- my wedding, pregnancy, baby. So unfair Molly doesn’t get her so, so groovy grandma. She should have had her here.)

Mother as a wordconceptrole was a mythically important thing in the abstract- Goddess- to me before I lost my mom, but after her death that word is so loaded with powerful yearning and absence vacuum-dense. In fragile moods, hearing “mama” with the right inflection can tear me wide open. Beth Hart’s song Mama does that. It’s so hard, because we discovered her together. We heard LA Song on the radio and went to this local record shop that was one of the hippie Meccas here in the 70’s and asked John, the tall lanky guy we used before Google to find any artist we came across. He ordered Screamin’ for my Supper for us. This was in the past couple if years before she died. That stuff is the worst, more painful than childhood memories. Remembering things that we shared when I was an adult make it seem like her death happened/happens right now, and it’s double grieving. She was my best friend. And my mama. It kills. My heart and stomach are in knots.

No more typing through tears. Should I have pulled out my paper journal? I don’t even know where it is. Too self conscuious and freaked out right now. Just hit publish and wipe off my face. Drink some water and go back to work. Call grandies & ask after the baby = good medicine. Refocus “mother” on me.

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