Grieving Mother’s Poetry to her Daughter

MY HOLLY
July 28,1997

 

Thirty-three years old now– four since I’ve seen you– and yet,
you are my baby, my youngest.

So willowy, shorter than I, but just right.

 

The morning you were born, I felt your warm, wet body slip out of
mine. I began to shiver afterward with excitement.

You remained nursing at my breast for fifteen months; by that time
you could unbutton my dress when you were hungry.

Eleven years since we sewed clothes together before you married, or
played duets together on the piano.

 

Seventeen years since Ian entered your life, then exited– it
hardly seems so long ago.

 

And yet, it seems centuries ago, on some other planet, the one
called Watchtower.

It’s a rather insignificant planet, except to its inhabitants, who
think themselves the center of the universe.

It’s a planet of man’s creation, not God’s.

 

But I grew much taller than the other inhabitants.

And when they insisted I become a dwarf like themselves,

I could not renounce the growth God gave me.

 

And so I had to leave– to leave you behind there, with the small
thoughts and the small god– not that your thoughts are small; they
are gentle, or so I remember.

 

O child of my longing– why did I tarry while you got enmeshed ever
deeper?

Why did I keep stuffing the things that didn’t make sense, and try
to believe it really was “the truth”?

 

It’s because all my life I have relied on my brain– and intellect
is so limited, as are belief systems based on what the human mind
can grasp.

And I denied my feelings, even as I continue to do. (Denial has
been my constant companion in life.)

I deny my pain in losing you; I stuff it, don’t think about it.

It’s even hard to pray for you on any deep level, because then I
start to cry.

That’s what killed your father four years ago– so Dr. Block said.
Is it now killing me?

 

God is faithful to His promise, and He will bring us together
again, but when?

It seems hard even to imagine: how can you escape the gravity of
that planet?

 

The same way I did– lifted up “on eagle’s wings”.

Yahweh the Savior (Yeshua)– He will save you.

 

Poor child– you lost your mother, just as I lost mine (to that
same planet), and she hers (to disease).

Take courage: your Lord will not allow more loss than is necessary
for your growth.

We are not meant to fix our eyes on the gifts He gives us– some
temporary and some longer lasting, but still a blip in eternity.

The only forever gift He gives us is Himself.

And that is more than enough.

 

HOW LONG?
 

Holly– my own flesh!

Don’t you know me?

Did you ever really know me?

 

How can you be so cruel and heartless?

I thought you had a tender heart– the Holly I knew did.

I thought you, too, were a seeker.

 

What happened?

When did you decide it wasn’t safe to question–

When you saw that questioning leads to leaving?

 

How long will you keep hiding under that rock, pretending?–

Pretending you are really in the sunshine;

Pretending you don’t have a mother;

Pretending you don’t have a brother;

Pretending you are allowed to think;

Pretending you’re not sad or angry.

 

I taught you well, didn’t I?

 

(2-22-97)

 

Dear Holly,

I ran across a couple of your high school poems today–

Read them to Lillian.

Then it struck me–

This speaks to me, where I am now!–

Stuff about unicorns on unicycles, and pulling the cart alone,

And roses, and wildflowers.

 

Who would have thought that what you were feeling in high school
Would resonate with me now?

 

We’re more alike than I thought.

Or, maybe, we were more alike.

It’s your poem, so, really, who has changed?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

HTML tags are not allowed.