It’s Mother’s Day. What better time to spend time with your mother, whether physically in your house, electronically through Zoom or imaginatively if she’s passed on to the world where the machines can’t go?
My relationship with my Mom was both complicated and simple. Complicated because of the complications of her bi-polar life combined with the fact that all parent-child relationships are complicated. Simple because we had so many shining transcendent moments, from early childhood to deathbed goodbyes, where we looked at each other and knew a deep love that defied explanation.
I wrote recently—in fact, April 6th—of some of her “messages from beyond” that she gave me as we sat eating ice cream in the garden at The Jewish Home for the Aged and I grabbed my Memo notebook from my pocket sensing that she was dictating something I needed to hear. But the other day, as I was searching for a phone number in these old Memo books that I keep in my drawer and found it. With the unexpected bonus of noticing this message from Mom from 2010:
“You seem to regret not having a voice for singing, but you speak to people with such sincerity about all the places they can go.”
My belief in some divine Presence certainly stems partly from a sentence like that being spoken out of the blue from a mother who was not well known for logical trains of thought. But I certainly took that message to heart. I’ve been doing more singing with more different groups of people than ever before and stopped apologizing that I’m not Johnny Hartmann or Frank Sinatra. But whether it’s speaking or speaking, I certainly am hoping to open doors previously closed, to reveal places people can and should go, whether they be into musical worlds of extraordinary power and beauty or into some hidden corners of their own soul’s power and beauty.
Thanks for noticing, Mom and Happy Mother’s Day!