A letter from Ging
I have seen the pictures my family have posted of my mother in varying degrees of her experience while undergoing 4 hours of surgery and 5 hours in the recovery room. I live in a different continent so I try to self soothe the anxiety of my Mama at 75 getting another surgery. It was the long weekend and it felt like a long walk in the desert without water fearing dehydration and ultimately not able to find my way back home. I face my Mama’s mortality one more time. It is not easy to visit because that fear shadowed me growing up.
I called my Papa for updates although I had to step back and literally go for a run so I can stop myself from transferring my own fears. He was serene the voice of my father whose sight have been failing through the years. I remembered the voice of my youth. When I was young my Mama had a cancer scare. I remembered the old prayer of a young child then. I bargained with God to give her a long life. I was burdened as the eldest in the family. It was self imposed. I worried for my siblings without their parents and how I was inept to take care of them. I lived my youth in fear and followed my parents obediently. That was my silent pact as a child with God. I look at my photographs growing up and I see the scowl in my face. I have managed to grieve for the child in me as an adult. I have forgiven her too!
I have my own rituals to self soothe as an adult. I cleaned so it was good that we let go of the household help. I scrubbed and dusted to cover the worries away. I lit candles and incense. I whispered prayers . There is a difference with my prayers now and my youth though. I did not bargain with God. I did not plead. I trusted that He knows what is best not just for me but specially for my Mama and my family.
My Mama and my first best friend. She had me at a young age so we literally grew up together. I comforted her even when I did not know what comforting meant. As a child I listened to her a lot. She talked another dialect specially when she was angry so I learned that dialect from her. I was her shadow and when she made those church visits to pray for my sickly brother I was next to her. I knelt when she did and we walked kneeling from the back of the church to the front of the altar. I still remembered her prayers. I also remembered her pain and her secrets.
I was born an 8 lb baby and my Mama I was told used to cry breast feeding me. I had a healthy appetite. My mother is a warrior even when she was young. She defended me as a child when I was bullied . You do not cross her because as a petite 4’ 11"“ woman I remember she tossed the lid of drum like a frisbee. We lived in a 2 level apartment and in kindergarten she allowed me to express my creativity. With a black thick marker I scribbled the lessons of the day teaching my little brother. She never discouraged me and those writings on the wall stayed on until we left that house at 21 years. She trained me at a young age. My first chore was to bring my Papa’s slippers and clean shirt when he came home from work. I also learned how to fold clothes which I still love to do. I also did food shopping for a long time. My Mama use to give me the budget for the week and I would buy all the food the family needed. I still love doing food shopping as an adult. I remember standing on a chair at 6 cooking next to her and smelling fragrant oatmeal.
Last June I had the same surgery as what she had. Fatty tissue runs in the family and although it is not harmful it grows. My grade school teacher said it is from frustrations. My mama had hers in her neck and mine was tucked right below my rib cage.
My husband loves me dearly but when we got home after my surgery and I was in pain I screamed for my Mama. I reverted to that child that was so use to her mother’s healing hands. She never slept a wink when we were sick. I remembered smelling all her concoction specially when I had a fever. She is a natural healer even to this day. I suspect if time travel is possible that she must have done it. She used herbal medicine way before it was the in thing.
So I skyped with her the day when she will know when she will be admitted to the hospital and I remembered the face of a powerful woman. The first time I talked to her after surgery I heard the voice of my youth. She is grace my Mama. Even when in pain she will smile. I hope I can be like her when I grow up. She is super woman raising 5 kids. She is stand by your man kinda woman. She will fight fiercely for her family even now she is the voice that I will listen in darkness.
I am grateful i grew up with my Mama. Wherever I go I take her in my heart and her voice will always echo in my ears. I am relieved she breaths the same air as I do even when I am continents away. I understand now that I am nearing 50 how she felt alone when I left her at 24. She missed her best friend and her first child . She felt so many things and yet she managed to pray for my safety always. I am my Mama in some ways. Phill said I have grace and I am sure I managed to get even a little bit growing up in that household. When she pinned that veil on my head last year I felt so blessed. My Mama so beautiful was able to see her first child at a joyous occasion. Her prayers answered , I found someone that loves me dearly.
I love you Mama more than words can say. Thank you for my life.