Remembering My Mama

Last weekend I found this basket when I was clearing out the cabinets in my mother’s kitchen. My dad, who was directing my efforts at the time, said “You can get rid of that.” I’m sure he didn’t realize that I had made this basket about 15 years ago when I was just beginning my foray into learning about how to use plants. I laboriously harvested and dried the cattails, dyed them with onion skins and took a basket weaving class. Yes, basket weaving 101.

I was cleaning out the cabinets in my father’s  home because he doesn’t need big serving bowls and rolling pins anymore. My mother was the cook. She loved to bake and she was the cook for the entire 61 years they were married. But she’s not here anymore. My mama died two months ago March 18th after battling cancer for almost two years.

My mother and I were not that close throughout my adulthood. Things happened and our lives diverged. But she always knew to call when I was having a hard time, and she was always there when I called. I credit her with teaching me how to be a mama. My earliest memory was laying on her shoulder while she rocked and sang to me. That’s the essence of what mamas do. They comfort people.

For the past two years my father took my mother to chemo appointments, kept track of her myriad medications, slept next to her and helped her to the potty in the night and together we comforted her as well as we could until the moment she died.  I am lucky to be immersed in the world of healing and nurturing, and it was humbling to be able to comfort my mother with the things I created to comfort mamas I don’t even know. We quelled her nausea and heartburn with Morning Wellness Tea and Heartburn Tea and massaged her sore body with Angel Baby Lotion. We slathered C-Mama Healing Salve on her radiation burns and rashes, and washed her from top to bottom with Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. And when she died, I washed her body with Angel Baby Bath Blossoms. Never was I more grateful for having these gifts to give her.

It’s Mother’s Day and this year I won’t be buying a Mother’s Day card for her. But I will forever be grateful for having the honor of caring for her day by day as she prepared for her transition. I consider it her gift to bring us back together and to be as close as we were when I was two and lying on her shoulder. We talked about how frightened she was, I sang to her, I read to her and I even laid in bed with her and rocked her. I feel such gratitude for being able to care for her, lovingly, and exactly the way she taught me. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m happy to say that my mother taught me what that really means.


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