“Oh You Mothers…”
This is the prayer I use when leaving offerings for my own ancestors.
Oh you mothers, all my mothers
Those who sleep in heavy soil,
Those who went to death so weary
All you thought was no more toil,
Those who danced with joy and laughter,
Those who fought to break the chains
Though you’ll know no more hereafters,
Here a part of you remains.
Oh you fathers, all my fathers
Those who dream in wet, black earth,
Those who let their dreams go hungry
So that mine could come to birth,
Those who died in rage and sorrow
Those who laughed and wandered free,
Though you’ll know no more tomorrows
Your tomorrows live in me.
All of you who came before me,
Though I know your names or not.
All who added to my story
Giving blood or deed or thought.
Take this food and…
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For Mia, my mom’s friend. May your journey to the Island beyond the sea be peaceful, and may your loved ones be comforted.
Today’s morning broke on a world without Mia.
I knew, somewhere deep inside—had known since the night before. I smothered the sense of that knowing until I came home from work to face the accusatory blinking red light of the phone. Mia was gone, the ninety pounds of her unable to endure another day.
I did not trust myself to call her spouse, who had said that all that “they” could do for her was make her comfortable while waiting for the cancer to overwhelm itself and her life. After all, twenty-three years of fighting it off… the classic “courageous battle with cancer.”
He had been right, I suppose.
Being right is highly overrated.
Mia was 69 years and two weeks old. Didn’t even get the biblical threescore and ten, which seems enormously unfair for someone so feisty and fun with so much hard work under her belt. She is…
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