I’ve always believed that the reason Paradise is at the feet of mothers is because when they are gone, they take with them 99% of the love felt by their children. I am not yet a parent and so can not confirm whether becoming a parent shifts that 99%, but I can’t imagine it does; as a daughter, I know that kids can be severe pain-in-the-ass traumatic fk-jobs to their parents. Rare, however, that we hear of the opposite.
All weekend, I had been thinking of Hannah, thinking how I hadn’t heard from her in a couple of weeks. Unnerved by this quiet I had scribbled a note to ring her during the week.
She beat me to it, with first email message received this morning relaying the news of her mum’s passing.
The third parent this last month, her loss brings with it the greatest hurt. Both because I fell in love with her the moment I met her, but so too because she was the one who led me to Hannah.
In such circumstance, I am utterly useless via the spoken word. Witness when I rang Hannah and left the voice-mail: Hannah. It’s Maha. I’m just. I’m just. Just. Because. Just. I’m calling because I’m so sorry. (Insert a variety and flurry of sobbing, choking, and hiccuping sounds.) I love you, Hann.”
I had barely hung up when I started to have a really very ugly cry. Were I standing before Hannah, she would have had to console me; I am that pathetic. Charlie, who normally — with love — hides in the washroom, book in hand, when Hann’s upset? Would have been sent diving head-first into the tub.
That noted, where I am helpful is Action Items. Cooking meals, picking up groceries, cleaning an apartment…screening her calls, picking out her outfit, fixing her hair, holding her hand, tucking her in, and standing in front of her to take a rogue cotton-ball in the eye. Basically, situations wherein I am physically occupied.
Only, what I am good at, I can not do while I am not in London. Though we have emailed a couple of times today, I am sitting in Ottawa feeling utterly impotent.
Right now, I can not shoulder her grief, but only share in it.
I can also write, so here I am asking for your contribution.
If you have a moment to say a prayer for Hannah’s heart, please do so. And take with you…
Because I’ve lost my strength to stand
Without the prayer of your day
I’ve grown old…return the stars of childhood
So I can share with the sparrow chicks
The way back
To the nest of your waiting