Friday, May 11, 2012

Champagne for My Mom

So much has been said about Mother's day that it is hard to talk about anything new.  I feel left alone to be a complete adult on this earth since many years ago my mother died.  Even though we lived in different countries, we kept a lively correspondence and I remember traveling to the old island when she died and with my sister going through all of my mother's things to find boxes and boxes of old letters of mine written on blue and fine paper all enclosed in their envelopes and a testimony to my whole life and hers. I was stunned.  I was sad.

My memories of vacations in her home were a day to day accumulation of joy.  I reverted to being a child again since she made all the decisions about food and things and her maid Ghislaine knew everything that pleased me and how I liked to eat anything.  She catered to all my desires under the watchful eye and directives of my Mom.  I did not have to think.  In a way, it was like a long meditation when we talked about all and nothing.  She often asked me "don't you want to see a movie, a play, go out?"  My pleasure was just to bask in her attention and being like a little kid again able to forget the challenges of living in her treasured presence.

I was spoiled.  I was received by her at the airport and later in her house toasted with champagne. Her favorite drink.  On her death bed she asked for a glass of champagne.  What a way to go! I remember when she was a few minutes away from dying, I went to wake up my dad who was taking a brief nap and he knew instantly. He spared me the words. We walked hand and hand to her bedroom.  I admired her body, her beautiful skin, we used to say she had a perfume skin, so fit to retain the French scents she applied on it. After a few minutes she was gone and no tears would fill the void. 

I look at her photo now and wonder where she is, where she has gone to and the silence is my answer.  In Haiti, long time ago, the ones who had lost their mom wore a white rose for Mother's day and the fortunate ones who had their Mother wore a red one. The tradition is still alive in my imagination and maybe that is why I never buy or plant white roses.  The pain drips out of their petals to invade my soul.

Copyright 2012 Micheline Brierre