Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eulogy

Soft, Free and Wild

Soft, free, and wild
I will stay by your side.
Stay near, my child,
To your dreams I am tied

Soft as the stars
Against the velvet sky,
And from afar
To your softness I fly.

Free as the wind
That sings only at dark,
And I am pined
To this life, to this spark.

Wild as the sea,
With its storms and its waves
So, joyously,
Passion my heart enslaves

Soft, free, and wild,
Let me stay one more night.
Hold me, my child,
Here until the morning light.


My mother wrote this a long time ago, not long after I was born.  I suppose I am rather wild.  She and I always seemed to find ourselves at odds, neither willing to back down.  I can’t count the number of times we argued, but then, I can’t count the number of times we said “I love you” either.  Both occurred too often and too many times to count. 

As for being free…well, if I’m free than she most definitely was and probably still is.  My mother never let anyone tell her what to do.  She was a free spirit determined to forge her own path, no matter what that cost her.   She almost never did what others expected or wanted and took great pride in that fact.  

Softness…am I soft?  I never saw myself as soft.  I know my mother wasn’t really soft.  She always stuck to her principles and didn’t back down.  She joined the military when she was younger than I am now and proceeded to excel in a male dominated world.  She always took pride in the fact that she was the first woman to give birth as a Minute-Man Missiler.  She used to joke that it was my claim to fame, being the first baby born to a Minute-Man Missiler.
If I was my mother’s soft, wild, and free child, than my sister was her pride and joy.  As much as my mother loved me, she always got along more with my baby sister.  The two of them had a shared interest in cats, poetry, and the theater.  It’s actually because of our mother that my sister became interested in the arts.

My mother was born in Lubbock, Texas and from there moved all over the world.  This was because her father was a Pan Am pilot, and quite proud of that fact.  My mother always talked about when she lived in Berlin.  She was there for eight years and I think she considered it to be one of the best times of her life.  I can remember her telling me stories of her time over there all throughout my childhood.  Every one of those stories made me wish I had been there.

Her mother, my grandmother, used to always call my mother her beauty, and looking at old pictures of my mother, I can see the truth in that.  My mother was a show-stealer.  When she was younger she caused heads to turn when she walked by.  There was an energy about her that was contagious and invigorating.  Just being near her made you feel alive.

Now, when my sister and I picture our mother, we like to imagine that she’s sitting at a little cafĂ© table in the city she loved most, Berlin.  She’s sitting there, drinking coffee, and sharing a cigarette with my grandmother while the two of them talk about the past and watch their family move towards the future. 

One day the rest of us will join them, but, until then, all we can do is face the future. 

So, today, I say my goodbye to my mother.  I want her to know that I’ll love her forever and that I’ll always keep an eye on my baby sister, just like she wanted. 

We love you mommy, goodbye.

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