There was a woman I used to know. A beautiful woman who reveled in her daughter. She used to take her baby shopping during the day. They would run to catch subways and street cars, laughing together. Other days they would go to the park, sometimes for a picnic and other times just to play on the playground.
She was a gentle mama, one who defended her child (even if she was a difficult one at times) above all else. I remember, her daughter had a horrible case of nightmares which lasted for the first few years of her life. This mother would cradle her daughter in her arms, and holding her close to her bosom, sang to her while wiped the sweat from her baby's brow. The little girl felt as if she was being touched by an angel. Her mama's hands were a source of comfort, her voice, singing ever so softly soothed her.
She was a strong woman who defended her children, her mother and her family. Some days were full of sunshine and laughter; picking flowers, running through the grass, riding bikes. She would laugh fully without restraint. There was a peace about her that could sometimes tame the rage in their home. Other times the arguments won and the peace would disappear.
Over the years the spark, the fire within her began to dwindle. Some days it was as if the flame had been put out entirely, her face drawn and distant. Other days she would put on a happy face and go through the day as if everything was alright.
Decades have since passed and the women I used to know is no longer.
If I could see her again, for what she was, for who she was, I would say, Thank you. Thank you for inspiring me to become the mother I am. I have learned so much through your strengths and weaknesses. They have made me the woman I am today. When I see the look of awe and adoration in my little girl's eyes, I think of your daughter and my heart breaks. I can see her in my own sweet child's face.
When I rock her in my arms, I think of you and then I weep.
I weep for your daughter.
I weep for you.
I wish you were still the woman I once knew.