Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Memoir

I'm going to pretend. I will reconstruct a memory; what it was like swimming within the womb of my mother.

I didn't want to move. There was this sound- steady - like a muffled drum- underwater.

...like a thump, an echo bubble, with waves, leagues underneath,

...movements of water- without air - to soften the blow of sound...

... as a thought starting from Heaven,

...I needed a watery introduction,

...the ear drums needing a buffering from the texture of earth.

...It would have all been too much,

...If it were not for water.


I was an unexpected soul. Not an accident. No one is.

A surprise? Yes.

An interruption? Yes. Except this is when they made their plans.

It is good. Those little conceptions. Don't despise small beginnings.

They are beginnings. For otherwise, there'd be no plans.
There'd be no middle.
There'd be no you and me,
No love,
No eternity...

So they had to set up a crib, a highchair, a playpen.

My parents had met on a bus. A Greyhound, no less.

Both were travelling, in transition in their separate lives,

One from nursing school, the other from the minors' in baseball.

It was a juncture.
I was the junction.

I was a knowing soul. Oh, details? I don't recall. I only know what I've been told. But through these pieces, these images my mother describes, I can see and feel 'how it was.'

I walked late, not until 15 months. Was I lazy? no, I wouldn't say that. It makes sense to me now. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and face all I have as bullets on a list (through the heart), it takes me a few minutes to get moving. Rob brings me my coffee. I stare out at the mountains, collecting and gathering  my bearings, through the watery glass of window.

When my daughter Danika made her debut, I tried to put it off, as a play on words, during labor, I tried to 'belabor the point.'

I lied in the quiet dark cocoon of the hospital delivery room, dozing, not moving, so as not to stir a contraction.

But alas, Dr. Lee and Rob sitting next to each other in the still of that room, their masculine brains leaning guard against the wall, prompted me to get the show on the road.

"Are we going to have a baby tonight?", said Dr. Lee.

The lights turned on and I got to work.

Danika was born at midnight, her cry mewled like a strong kitten, girlish.
She made me a mother of daughters.

-But back to me in the womb...

I was not about to be upside down, head first, plunging into the ocean of the world.

No... I stayed near my mother's heart beat- where it was safe and warm. It settled me.

I didn't want to be born.

My midwife, when I was pregnant with Katie, asked about my birth.

"Hmmmm", she peered over her readers, her gray strands giving her a credibility of an all knowing granola cruncher.

"Breech babies are intelligent. When the mother is stressed, these babies stay near the mother's heart beat."

Did God calm my mother too?

Blood, sweat, tears...water.

My birthday marked not only my entrance into the world, but also birthed a mother,

My mother...

Then...me...then my sons, Paul, Scott, Mark,
Then my daughters, Danika, Katie, and Beth.

And so eternity continues...

And we remember our mothers.







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