Poem : What I Learned from My Mother

Friends, first I want to say thank you for the overwhelming support at the announcement of my new shop last week. At this point, I'm excited to report that I have more orders to fill than I can really keep up with and more ideas and designs floating in my head than ever. It's so hard to predict inventory before opening the store, so perhaps I got a little bit ahead of myself... Oh well. It's an exciting time.

Of course, it's in the midst of this joy that life, in it's unpredictability and indifference to our preferences and plans, chooses to intrude and remind me : it's out of my control. I went home for the weekend, and it turned out to be a lot harder than predicted. I share with you this poem in honor of a friend that passed away, and my mother who is in the hospital again trying to regain strength after a hard week.

What I Learned from My Mother
by Julia Kasdorf

I learned from my mother how to love 
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole 
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins 
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn't know 
the deceased, to press the moist hands 
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing, 
what anyone will remember is that we came. 
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel. 
Like a doctor, I learned to create 
from another's suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse. 
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.



TGL said...

99% of the words said at a time like that don't matter. 

What does matter and do remain are the memories held and the stories shared. Things you didn't know. Things that you knew, and were reminded of once again. Stories of a life lived. The person you lost as viewed through the eyes of another who may not have loved them as you did, but cared for them enough to come and share with you those things.

The memories mean something.

sarah said...

Reading this, I can tell your mother must be an amazing and very special woman.  These are the important things in life, the ones that make all the difference. 
Again I find myself reading your words over and over and over.

Congratulations on your new shop ~

Bethany Suckrow said...

Thank you, Sarah. The first time I read Kasdorf's poem I thought of her, how true it is to my own mother, and it's one I read over and over again when I need comforting. Good poetry will do that. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Bethany Suckrow said...

So true, friend. Thanks again for your support. <3

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