5 years ago this month, my grandmother died.
It was the second day of May. Remember it like it was yesterday.
We were at the University of Utah hospital, circling her bed and holding hands. In one minute her hand was warm as the fire burning in her home every Christmas. The one in which we burned all the wrapping paper, so it sizzled for hours.
In the next, she was gone.
I was incredibly scared, as i had never seen death before, a human dying.
She was our Tayta, our matriarch. Our bearer of family tradition.
How would we go on without her?
We knew it was time, SHE knew it was time. We all gathered around her bedside, knowing we needed to up the morphine, relieve her from her pain.
in a circle we stood.
She looked at each one of us, pointedly, in the eye, and said, “well, team, what do you you think?” At that moment, there was no think. there was only feel. there was only the intolerable sensation of knowing that within hours my grandmother would not be alive and i didn’t know where she was going.
I don’t believe in God. i just don’t.
But i do believe in life beyond this one. So in my heart and soul, i knew we would one day be reunited again, whether through the Christian God she believed in or the agnostic one in which i did.
So this Mothers Day, i would like to pay tribute to the women that without whom i would be a lost, sorrowful soul. This bloodline runs deep, it runs strong, and it runs pure as the white fallen snow.
To my Great grandmother, who i never knew and died too early for me to ever feel the paperthin skin of your hand, and the 4 generations of women to whom you passed on your strength. To stand underneath your painted face with the 4 women that have molded me, i am honored.
To my Grandmother Tayta, who’s hand i was holding for her last breath. who’s spirit i see in the stars, who’s strength upon which i call everytime i question myself.
To my mother, who gave me the courage, strength, punishment, and nourishment to grow my own wings and fly. I love you, i adore you, i am me because of you.
To my stepmother, who embraced and loved me at a very young age as her own, and who befriended my mother so that i may have 2 women who loved and raised me in different but equally beautiful ways as a young girl.
To my stepson, Austin, who calls me his “coolest stepmother” as if there is a choice. Dude, what can i say… you simply rock.
To my friends Danielle, Angie, and Teri who adopted children that without your love, may have never known the gift of a mother.
And finally to my daughter, Savannah, who, more than my daughter, is truly my teacher. i look forward to a life of learning from you with each breath i take.
To all of you insanely amazing women who collectively embody the word “Mother,” i am honored, with all my faults, derailments, and misgivings, to be amongst you.
Tell your story.
Have this day.