For My Mother

Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter

It is late morning

We sit together

At the white marbled table

In your chic NYC 17th floor apartment

*

We discuss our manuscript

*

The subject changes

To the occasion of our dinner

The night before

The dinner at Trattoria Dell’arte

Where you met

for the very first time

“My Family”

*

We laugh

We smile

We are glad for the experience

*

“It’s time for me to leave,” I say

Go home

Home to Florida

*

You take my hand

Your countenance changes

Your eyes reshape

A seriousness

A tear

Which you hold back

*

“I have thought of you as mine,” you say

“After meeting them,” you pause

“I realize you’re not”

*

Silence

*

Irony

*

In your pain

I feel

loved

wanted

needed

treasured

*

And then I realize

This is the bond

Between

us

This is the bond

Between

Every mother and child

*

A bond formed

by

Sacrificing

So

That child may feel

*

Loved

Wanted

Needed

Treasured

*

In this moment

I see it

I feel it

I live it

*

In this moment

I know

*

I am yours

I’ve always been yours

I will always be yours

All my love,

Kathy

To My Valentines

Whatever your personal feelings regarding this day, it does have meaning. As a culture, we come together and, despite the part FullSizeRender (9)about buying stuff, we all find ourselves with something to say about love. It is, after all, whether we admit it or not, human beings’ favorite thing in the world. It is the source of our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. In its many shapes and forms, it’s what drives us, what fulfills us, what, however temporarily or not, assures us that our existence is not in vain, that our living has meaning. If we have it we struggle to keep it, if we don’t, we struggle to have it. Not only is love the vessel that connects us to others, it is what ensures that our lives do not go unnoticed. Unwitnessed.

When I gave birth to Kathy and had to say goodbye, it was my love for her that gave me the strength for it. When I spent the subsequent years pining for her, it was Frank’s love that gave me the strength to go on. When I was racked with guilt and pain, it was my love for my other children, Danielle and Frank, Jr., and their love for me, that gave me the strength to be a good mother to them.

I’ve been married to the love of my life for fifty years now. Love has evolved as we have evolved. What has remained constant, however, is the strength it has infused in us to face life, and bear all it gives and takes away. Today, because of love, because of the hope that love wouldn’t allow us to give up, we are great-grandparents to a little boy born to the daughter of our long-lost daughter. It feels a bit like a miracle. Like a dream. Like magic.

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Today, Valentine’s Day, I want to thank my daughter, my co-author and partner in crime, for finding us. For making our family whole. For giving us so much to celebrate.

And Danielle and Frank, Jr., for being my greatest source of pride and joy.

And my children’s children (and their children), who are gifts I cherish every moment of my life.

And my friends, and our supporters, and the readers of Secret Storms, whose own stories inspire Kathy and me every day.

And, of course, my Valentine. Frank, the love of my life.

♡,

Julie