My mommy was so special| a breast cancer awareness poem|
I’m sorry| my mommy|
my mommy is so special|
I love this picture!
I didn’t see it until recently
It tells me so much about you Mom
The eyes I love
You know that’s how I’ll always choose to remember you, Mommy
Why didn’t you ever show it to me before?
I wish you would have shown me this before, Mommy
So we could have talked about it
You must have been 16 or 17 here
It’s hard to imagine you this young
Radiating unwavering confidence
With so much of your life ahead of you
Your look saying, “Yes! I’m ready!
Kinda sexy, too!
Who was taking the picture, Dad?
Ever so Strong
I can read so much in your eyes
Ready for whatever lies ahead
To conquer the world
Mommy, keep your nerve up
And resilience and know that I love you!
Off you go now!
. . .
Whenever I see a rose
I always remember your
Driving up your street
When it first comes in sight
In full bloom it’s gorgeous! Like you, Mommy
Remember when we used
To go to nurseries looking for roses
To make your new house a home
Did it drown out the pain
I thought you were doing well then
I thought you were adjusting
I thought you would be happier
Once you realized it was really better to be away
From the oppression
the name calling
Maybe it was comfortable
Sometimes the pain is comfortable
They say that’s why some people stay
Is that why you stayed, Mommy?
Where was I again?
Ah, yes, Roses . . .
Sweet, fragrant, roses
I still spritz rosewater
Once, twice, in my face
Very relaxing, soothing, calming
. . .
Sometimes from magazines
Picking them out together
Mr. Lincoln, Double Delight, Just Joey, Peace
Josephs Coat, Oh, Mommy, what was the white one called again?
Maybe that was one of those that I sent you in a bouquet
That you started yourself & nurtured like you do a child until it grew into
a beautiful tree
Did you ever get Livin’ Easy?
I bet it’s hard for them to keep enough of that rose in stock
Going home and planting each one with such care
When I bought each of my homes
I planted roses too
Remember how you came over to show me how
To prune and care for my roses
The very first winter in my
Very first home
It was so long ago
And yet it seems like yesterday
Doesn’t it, Mommy?
Do you remember about 4 years ago
When you came over to my big house
The very last winter I lived there
But we couldn’t know that then
You showed me one last time
How it should be done
I didn’t realize it would be the last time
I would be living there, Mommy
I didn’t realize it would be the very last time you would be alive to show me Mommy
I just remember how you were determined to give
Me my lesson one more time
Don’t be sad, Mommy
I’m sure we won’t always live in an apartment
I’m sure things will pick up
I’m the comeback kid
Remember that’s what you used to call me
Me and Bill Clinton
And I’ll always remember what you taught me in your rose garden
It’s okay, Mommy
it’s just impermanence
Before you ask
I drove by the street where I used to live
To look at the rose bushes that you pruned
To see you pruning them one more time
But when I got there
The new owners had pulled all the roses out
I started to cry, Mommy
And then I told myself
it was just another
case of Impermanence
But then I looked closer still
And I could see you there
On a cold December morn
Wearing your hair sprayed Wig
You were all bundled up
You had on the scarf you knitted
under your JC Penney’s warm coat
I saw I was there too
Watching you — I asked you if You were sure you wanted to do that
Oh, Mommy, why did I say that
Letting it go now . . .
Because I knew how roses saved you
That’s why I always sent you
vases filled with fragrant roses
For special occasions
I remember how you always called me up
While I was at work
The second they arrived on your doorstep
To tell me with great detail
Oh, Cindi! They’re beautiful!
You shouldn’t have, but I’m glad you did!
Then you’d laugh!
As you got older you’d wait until
We were together
And bring it up
You won’t have to bring flowers to me later
You brought so many flowers to me now
I’m so glad you did!
Mommy, I always knew when you were
Telling me this it was to make me feel better
But it never did
Now it just makes me feel sad
But in that happy sick kind of sad way
I’m not even trying to hold back the tears now
You always said it with a bright smile
Oh, Mommy, I hope I smiled back at you
Mommy remember how you knit me
So many amazing sweaters
Vests, Socks up to my knees once
To match a hooded sweater jacket
Slippers for everyone in your family
Later Scarves and hats
To fill us with warmth and your love
Mommy remember last October before I knew how sick you were
I asked you for a hat
Well I found the hat you were working on
Near your chair last December a week after you died
I couldn’t bear to keep it then
I sort of wish I had now
But I really don’t think I could look at it now still
Thank you, Mommy
Letting it go now . . .
Mommy, remember how when you were in your late 40’s
You started jogging
Every morning before you went to work
All jobs you had after Dad left you
Then you’d go and get 2 donuts from Rudy’s each day
You still smoked then
You entered Bay to Breakers
Dump to Dump and all kind of races
I still have your t-shirts
Remember when I photographed you at the half marathon
You were so proud
I was too, Mom!
I found your single “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor in your ba-oo Portuguese word for chest full of treasures or is that to take with you when you die?
Was that meant for me, Mom
There wasn’t much else in there
You really hated when Dad left
I guess I didn’t realize how much you hated leaving your life behind
I remember thinking how
You really seemed to grow and flourish
Isn’t that funny, Mommy
How we only see what we want to see
You seemed to really adapt after the
Initial shock and period of adjustment
Is that what doctors call it now?
You really didn’t like any of it though, did you Mommy?
That’s why you always said
The happiest time of my life was when my children were little
You never once talked about any of YOUR accomplishments
Now that I think about it
Did you, Mommy
Did you really think the rest of your life was that unhappy?
Oh, Mommy, I’m so sorry
I guess sometimes we just see what want to see
And I guess sometimes there’s no going back
I wish you could
have let it go
impermanence isn’t so easy now, I know
What about the ocean, Mommy
It seems the only time
I truly saw you happiest
was when you were
watching the waves
When you could experience
What you dare not try in your own life
. . .
My Mommy was so special
She was my first best friend
She was my first teacher
I can still see her smile
I still hear her voice
On the phone
Sometimes in person
We are usually shopping
Something my Mom loved to do with me
She loved how I could navigate my way through the store
And find things for her
That she would probably have otherwise overlooked
I know this because
I would hear her tell her friends this
When I’m asleep
In my dreams
When every thing is so real
I still have the laughter
The bright smiles
Her beautiful eyes
Until I realize it’s a dream
But I never tell her I know
Because I’m afraid that once she realizes . . .
It will come to be . . .
I loved when I made her laugh
Or when I was just being silly
To evoke a response
Before she got sick
Before she was in pain
Before she was scared
Before cancer took that away from her
But even then somehow
I could still see through
and see those beautiful eyes
and heart filled with love
My Mommy was so special
before cancer took her away from me
Mary Silva Schenone
September 12, 1932 to December 3, 2010
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