Still can’t believe
the ‘heart on my sleeve’
gone on heaven’s highway
Mom’s grief now has passed
Since she breathed her last
She’s taken the skyway
Let’s raise glasses now
to the one who knew how
to smile in earthly hell
Tell stories, we will
as bar counts its till
of Charlotte, pre-death knell
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday, which gave us Grief, Bask, and Raise. Sounds like an Irish wake to me! Also for ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “M.” I don’t know whether this poem is a form, but it makes some sort of sense!
My mom could tell stories ‘til the cows not only came home, but went back out to pasture. I think she was a undiagnosed manic depressive like me and like her mom, Blanche, and she had that gift of gab. When she was drinking, she was either hilarious or hideously depressing; either way, I heard every story she could spare and committed it to memory and soon to memoir. Momoir?
Her death should have been scored by Puccini – agonizing, the slowest two weeks the world has ever seen, full of drama and angst. Twenty years later, I can still remember having to shoo close friends away from her bedside (“Don’t let them gawk at me, promise, Amer”) and take her home (“Promise me, no nursing homes”) to die in her own bed, another promise. She had not had a drink in 10 years, and after that last breath, I left sister’s side, clutched Charlotte’s hand, and sent her up with, “Mama, you died sober!”
April 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Love this and look forward to hearing more on your “momoir.”
April 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm
Oh you have no idea how much I needed to read this.
April 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm
No matter how flawed our parents are the umbilical cord is very difficult to sever as we are part of them. Learning of my own parents early life I can forgive them anything, let’s hope my children feel the same. You certainly know what buttons to press when you write Amy.
April 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm
Very moving post. My mother died in 1990 at 65 and sometimes it seems like yesterday. Carver, ABC Wed. Team
April 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm
Such a beautiful tribute to your mom. No matter what issues our parents had, almost always there is a part of us that loves them. My mother passed away three years ago, she suffered from schizophrenia which was incredibly hard for me to deal with. I often wonder had she not suffered this illness, what would she have been like.
April 12, 2013 at 3:41 am
Such a poignant tribute ~ well done Amy x
April 12, 2013 at 6:39 am
A very sensitive post even though twenty years have passed Amy!! Suffering from bipolar ailment is hard!! The illness gets not only the person but the entire family and friends have a tough time!! I have had experience with someone close to me too!! Your tribute tells us that beyond your tough exterior you have a very soft center!!
April 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm
Amy, what a painful passing, though sounds like there was a lot of growth and forgivin’ in on the path there. Definitely see your face in hers–hugs for the grieving, parents are almost always missed. ❤
April 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm
A fitting tribute to a life that might have been entirely too full. Yeah, the words fit perfectly.
The Real Cie
April 13, 2013 at 9:08 am
My father passed in late November of 2010. He was a good man, very loving, but I am certain that he had OCD. He nit picked everything to death, nothing was ever good enough, and he was hardest of all on himself. I miss him every day but part of me is still angry with him for instilling in me the tendency to always second guess myself in everything.
When I used to drink, I was like your mother. I was either the most fun person ever, or I was a morose sod. Either way, my mouth ran non-stop. It’s best if I don’t drink, although it let me cut loose.
April 13, 2013 at 11:20 am
a lovely ode to mom. “…who knew how to smile in earthly hell”.
April 13, 2013 at 11:24 am
Oh my gosh! You went through a lot with her. My daughter is bipolar but under control now with meds. And my mother died (eventually) from Alzheimers. She also had the gift of gab, which I and my daughter have inherited. I just love to chat just like my Mom did…I learned a lot about her and her past when she was “away from the present.” And she suffered a lot from my Dad’s attitude towards any sort of illness. I remember the morning she passed away, the sun was shining gloriously and I thought to myself, “Finally, she’s at peace!”
April 14, 2013 at 6:41 am
The last “Mama you died sober!” brought tears to my eyes. My dad is an alcoholic. Manic Depression and Psychopathy both run in my family, what a contrast. This is really beautiful, heart felt wonderful.