I recently heard that Chelsea’s mother died two years ago. Chelsea and I belonged to a loose group of friends that would periodically come together for a barbecue in a backyard or a movie in front of somebody’s big screen TV. She moved out of state many years ago and we lost contact. I think the last time we met we watched the movie Legends of the Fall. It featured a young, handsome, reckless Brad Pitt, and a mature, stubborn, self-centered Anthony Hopkins. That might be the reason the ladies liked it.
I e-mailed Chelsea and offered her my condolences. She wrote back and told me that she and her mom were really close and she still couldn’t bear the pain of walking into her mom’s house, especially the latter’s bedroom and seeing all the familiar things there.
I didn’t really know how to comfort Chelsea with words that would help her. So I sent her a story about my father that I wrote last year on Father’s Day to share the grief with her. I also suggested writing her feelings out. She could do it in Chinese, her native language, and I would translate it to English and publish the bilingual version in my weekly distribution. The story about my dad helped me relieve some of my own sadness. I was hoping that writing about her mother might help her too. She thanked me but said it would be too painful for her and I understood.
I never met Chelsea’s mom. From the bits and pieces Chelsea said about her, she must be a very caring and loving parent.
When I was born
You called me Chelsea
Because I was special delivery
The other siblings were named by grandpa
But you chose to do mine yourself like a scofflaw
I was three
I still had the pacifier on my lips
Like it was part of me
You asked the friendly cop next door
To help me arrest the pattern
Before I embarrassed myself in kindergarten
I was four
I would only go to sleep with you and dad
And not in my own bed
I would fit my tiny hand
In the tender crook of your arm
That was my safety net
My good luck charm
I was eighteen
You sent me to college
Though I was a 3rd daughter in that day and age
Many years later
You blessed my marriage with pride
Though he was a struggling grad student
And much later
You witnessed my divorce in stride
Though I never told you the real reason why
Mom, you took me home again
You took care of me
You were my mother hen
In your death bed
You looked at me like an injured chick
On your last breadth
You asked me if I was getting sick
Mom, I am okay but I miss you!
Chelsea: My readers and I share your grief. We hope you move happily forward with your mother’s love and guidance from above.
*** The End ***
(The dissemination of this writing is for non-commercial enjoyment only. The author reserves the copyright for himself)