mom-21In her lifetime, she had been a brand new baby in her own mother’s arms. She was a little girl skipping down a dusty road, dreaming of being a dancer just like she saw in the movies. She was a blushing bride, and soon after, she was rubbing her pregnant belly, already loving the kicking baby growing inside. Twice she visited the hospital, where she laboured, pushed, and breathed until that last push. She cried when she got to hold her daughters for the first time. She went to their dance classes, Pony Club lessons, school recitals, graduations and weddings. And then she cradled her grand-babies. Her spirit fought but her health failed, and too soon she was on life support, and too soon she was ready for the next stage of life. So the tubes, wires and breathing machine were removed. The time that followed was bittersweet. Just as she did for me when I was a helpless infant, I spooned tiny amounts of food into her mouth and cleaned her up when her bladder failed. I longed to crawl into her hospital bed with her and cradle her tiny body the way she cradled me decades before. I laid my head on her chest and cried. She comforted me and patted my back, calling me her baby over and over. She asked our forgiveness for her determination to exercise her right to smoke, and for our pain as we watched her slip away. I sat as close as I could, held her hand and stroked her hair the way she had always loved. I told her stories of how she enriched my life. I thanked her for her gifts of compassion, determination, creativity, patience and her ability to freely forgive. The forgiveness she asked for was given long before she asked for it, bringing her peace. It has been years since she passed away, but the seeds she planted throughout my life that made me who I am continue to flourish.



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