I started reading Hope Edelman’s Motherless Daughters. I began crying at the passage, “I want my mother. I want my mother. I want my mother now“. Okay, you may be thinking, “This Hannah broad is whiny and wimpy.” Truth is it took decades for me to be able to admit to feeling and crying. So there.
I was already feeling thoughts about my mother today as I was editing more photos I took of her. After seeing Hope, I went to the aging home where my mother lives to bring her tacos and the package of candy I did manage to bring from Guatemala. My sister pulled up at the exact moment I did, which was ironic because that has never happened there. Esther brought a protein shake and I had two steak tacos with guacamole, cheese and hot salsa for our mom.
I started to feed her outside at the table where the aides relieve stress by smoking. When it became too cold, I put my black sweater that Joyce gifted me in Guatemala, on my mother. We gave up and went inside because of the cold.
She was upset when my sister and I began to get ready to go. Her only regular visitors are my sister and I and when we get ready to leave, her energy changes. She knows it’s back to her room with the two older women who have been there forever it seems. One of them used to sound like a choo choo train every 30 seconds. She has stopped that noise for now. The other one lets out a blood curdling scream now and then that I still shudder from when I hear it.
I realize today as I was editing my photos that looking at my mother through the safety of my camera lens is one step closer from where I used to be. In the past, I couldn’t see her at all. At least now after graduate school and my work with my healer, I visit my mom even though I am usually camera in hand.
Editing my photos tore me up today. But as Hope says, you cannot avoid pain as I did in the past. “They know how much pain they can tolerate at any given moment, and when they reach their limit, they simply shut it off and do something else.”-Hope Edelman. I did learn that from the work I did with my healer. Hope gave me a beautiful gift with Motherless Daughters.
I signed up for her writing workshop after seeing her yesterday. I always look for signs to see if I should do something. Her humble presence was my sign. Maybe it was the one egg on her plate with the toast and butter? “It keeps me for hours” she said. “Very mothering and nurturing” I thought to myself. I’m looking forward to telling my story on paper and I think she will be the perfect teacher for me.
Left:My mother in Guatemala. A picture that my aunt just sent to my sister. I had never seen it before. The first time I saw it my eyes welled with tears.
“Grief is not a passage but an ongoing journey“.- Hope Edelman -Motherless Daughters