My daughter had a lovely idea given that we were unable to have any kind of funeral or memorial for my mother. She suggested we have a memorial tribute to Momma in Galveston at the beach.
I let my daughter plan the event. She’s a great event planner. Not something she learned from her mother or her grandmother, mind you.
She made paper butterflies (Momma loved butterflies and hummingbirds), and wrote a beautiful remembrance for her grandmother which is not mine to share here. What I can share is a couple of pictures relevant to the trip.*
My mother also loved poetry. She loved my poetry, even though I am not a poet.** Not just in that “unconditional parent love” way. She genuinely connected with my writing in a way no one else did. She’d get excited and show my work to my dad and her appreciation fed my spirit.
To prepare for the memorial, I looked around my house and tried to reconnect with my mother in a house she’d never physically inhabited. I dug an old crocheted afghan blanket out of my closet, smelled mothballs and time, and sat down to talk to Mom about it.
I didn’t sit down to write a poem but to write a letter. As the image of her patiently, meditatively, lovingly creating this oversized blanket perched in the back of my mind, the letter transformed.
It’s not Charles Wright or Maya Angelou even on their worst days, but Momma would have liked it.
* We have since learned not to release balloons. Please do not release balloons. They kill wildlife, whether the balloons are biodegradable or otherwise.
*She had the same response to my brother’s poetry. He is a poet, whether he accepts the label or not.