I stared at the picture of Michele and her children.
She had sadness in her eyes, despite her obvious joy.
“I love being their mom,” she sighed. “I’m missing mine today.”
I took her honest face between my hands, staring into her eyes.
“You ARE her.
She lives in the way you tell them the stories of your childhood.
She’s with you when you smack your hands over your own mouth
because you said something to your child you vowed to your mother
you’d never say because she said it to you.
She holds your hand while you hold theirs,
her blood singing to them like yours,
reminding them of the generations that worked just so
to bring your children to the right now.
She is your beautiful soul wrapped in matriarchal robes
that you fit into far better than you believe.
You are the beauty and the sorrow of the tears she cried for you
as you struggled to find your own beauty.
You are the delighted laughter of her
when she witnesses your children pulling your stunts.
My dear, Michele, your mother hasn’t died, she’s with you always
You ARE her.”