church

Never does one feel so small than when you stand at the prescipice of nature’s wonder. That is where I ended the last year and started the new one. Same sea, different latitude and longitude.

I almost didn’t make the pilgrimage home for a variety of reasons but I knew that seeing my Parents was important, even moreso my Mom, whose health deteriorates more and more with time.

There’s something incredibly grounding in returning to the place of my formative years: the flood of memories, flavors, sights and the walls that housed me. A culture of warmth and carefree attitudes. It is here I felt my calling to be art, fell in love for the first time and learned to see the water as my God.

Setting foot upstairs, knowing fully well what awaited me felt like the final walk toward execution. My feet heavy, my heart pacing… and there she sat. Reality and truth. Recognizable, but not herself. The light in her eyes dim but she looked up at me wide eyed and speechless. It took everything in me to not collapse into a puddle of tears. I don’t know if she knew it was me but I’m going to believe she did.

Since my arrival we’ve exchanged glances and held hands. I’ve wept and sang 50’s songs to her, got her to laugh more than once but nothing could prepare me for the brief lucid moment of “hi mija” and pursed lips asking me to lean in for a kiss. I. Lost. My. Shit.

There’s so much I wish I could have said and told her when she was still all here. I wish I could have leaned on her for comfort of my broken heart and shown her how I have put it back together. Or how absolutely brilliant and beautiful her granddaughter has turned out to be. I’ve said it out loud and sometimes to myself as I have sat by her bedside and that is the peace I choose to give myself. In the end all we can hope for is the ability to do our best with what we’re given. I’d like to hope she knew these things of me as I’ve come to understand her more since becoming a mother myself and opening my eyes to deeper understanding.

This trip has been nothing short of transformative and life altering in ways my words will not be able to describe. When you look at mortality staring back at you, in the form of the woman who so selflessly brought you into the world, it gives things an entirely different sense of purpose, perspective and meaning. Even in her silence she still teaches me more that I need to know. Louder than those with voices and full capacity. I’m just listening with more than my ears.

It is an indescribable, painful yet beautiful process that while far from over, will send me home more grounded, determined and inspired than I have ever been.

To be a better mother, person and human being. To build the life I’ve wanted. To be met and seen in ways that make my heart want to expand out of my ribcage and never settle for anything less than I deserve. To view life with an immeasurable sense of humility and gratitude. To create, provoke and evoke with what gifts I’ve been given. Time is so unbelievably fleeting and I can’t squander it. There’s so much more to learn and accomplish.

It’s a strange lullaby. A reflection. One more step… forever musing near the edge of the deep, blue sea.

 

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