Sunday, June 14, 2009

Open Heart Letter 4: to my Mom

Because there is not enough space and time, this is a short take. For all the love I have for you, Mom, it would eat the bandwidth of the internet...

To my mom:
As I write this, the kitchen is filled with the scent of peonies, and I cannot walk into the room without imagining you are here visiting me. How I wish you lived closer to us so we could spend time doing just the very basic ordinary things of life. We could pick the flowers in the garden together, fill the vases, wash the dishes, knead the bread. These are simple things, but I know how much you appreciate them and the space to enjoy them. It is one of my dearest wishes that you have that opportunity to take a breath and just be in the now, relaxed and free.

I know that when I was a very little girl, you spent many hours in the now, keeping house, baking bread, trying new recipes. You sewed my Halloween costumes and bedspread (and matching Holly Hobbie curtains!), dusted and vacuumed and helped me make lemonade for selling in a tiny stand at the end of the driveway. My mind was a fertile place of imaginings, and you kept me safe and cozy and let me wander in my own little world. In the process, I know you inspired my love of a homelife, and it continues today.

Of course, in those intervening years, you lost your own time to do those things. The business you own with Daddy actually owns you. It is a harsh master, and you have been in its service at the cost of your own desires. For all the good and opportunities it has brought you (and many, many others), it costs you a little bit of your dream each day. I ache to think of it.

What I admire is that in everything you have done for others, in all you have sacrificed, you remain sunny, bright and lovely. You did not have the best start in life, you have been handed a fair share of meanness in a variety of settings. But you rise above it all, and shine. It's funny: you are not unlike the peony in the garden, flourishing unexpectedly in the sand. You are quietly strong, filling the space around you with beauty, generous with yourself. You are unforgettable, and once someone meets you, they instantly love you.

I am constantly astounded by how many people flock to you. Each sings your praises, and makes a point of reminding me of how special my mother is. "I know!" I say, and I do. I think it is wonderful how you shine so clearly. "I am so lucky," I tell them, and I mean it. What a great gift I have in life to have you as my mother. I don't fail to think of it every single day.

Amidst all of it, you remain unsure of your own value. Humble as always, you doubt your own worth. You fear you haven't done enough. You, who is always, always doing things for others. I will be quick to remind you that you are so very much more than you do, you are extraordinary. And if you didn't do those things, you would still be extraordinary you. You are bright, and dedicated, and enthusiastic. Your optimism is contagious. Your energy is sometimes intimidating! You are lovely, and funny. You have many obvious talents, and just as many undiscovered! (While you doubt it, I know you have a great eye for color and an aptitude for art if you would let yourself try!) I wish you could see yourself the way others see you. I will not tire of reminding you that you are very, very special. Oh, how we all love you so very much!

It's a great coincidence that your given names describe you so well: Bonnie, of course, the beautiful. And Angela, the angel. You're those things, and so, so much more. I love you. I can't tell you that enough. But that won't stop me from trying.

I love you.

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Cheryl said...

I loved reading this beautiful, moving letter, thank you for sharing it with us. I hope, one day... one of my kids'll write a letter like that to me!

Also makes me wonder how a letter to my mother would go. Ours is not a family in which many things go unexpressed, which may be why I feel such a compelling urge to express myself.

Cheryl said...

Hmmm, I meant ours is a family in which many things go unexpressed!!!! duh...(reaches for coffee)

angela said...

Dearest Kirie,

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I feel so blessed to have you as my daughter and to have your love. You know I adore you and enjoy being with you so much. I wish I were there in the kitchen with the lovely peonies and the baking bread - I am delighted you are using the sour dough - I remember making so many things with it and you and Daddy really seemed to like it.
Thank you for the beautiful letter - it means so much.

I love you!


The Storialist said...

So touching, Kirie!

Thank you for sharing this.

La Belette Rouge said...

What a very beautiful post. You are both so lucky to have each other. While I don't know you, Angela, I can see the gift of mothering you passed on to Kirie. Kirie, is an amazing mother, friend and all around nurturer. I feel sure that you must have had an enormous impact on that incredible open heart that Kirie has.Really lovely letter, Kirie.

Irene Latham said...

Kirie, this is precious. All that love makes me feel warm and wonderful. Thank you for sharinng!

Judy said...

Oh Kirie you have done it again!

What a beautiful letter. It so describes your Mom and my best friend. I feel so fortunate to have her in my life. The years have gone so fast and we have enjoyed so many happy memories.

I hope your parents will also have time to finally enjoy and explore a new life after the "warehouse". They are both so talented and have so many interests. I'm looking forward to having some relaxing times together with long time friends; there is nothing better.

We are blessed. Aunt Judy

Maggie May said...

I'm glad to find and follow your lovely written blog.

Missy said...

Kir -- Loved reading this so much, and ... love your mom too.

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