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