Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 113

I wish I could truly explain what a beautiful thing it is to witness the dying of a star. A woman going supernova before your eyes. Mingled with your interminable grief, amid the quarry of lonely, foggy abyss, you see light. Light in neons of pink and green, yellow and orange bursts that climb the cliff face you once gazed at from above. Rays of passion and hope stream all around you. Soaring into the heavens.

When my mother still had her words, when she still experienced lucidity from time to time, she giggled curiously and said to me: I keep wanting to ask you what your mother was like. Once again, she steals my breath away. I gasped and then smiled: Any time you want to know about mother, just ask. I would love to tell you about her. If you don't know who my mother is, you should ask. I mean who she really is.

She is courageous. She is confident, but kind. She is impatient with incompetence, yet unconditionally accepting when you're ready to learn. She can make herself heard any time she chooses. She insists upon her dignity, her composure and she will never concede a fight. And that was just this morning.

If you're the poor fool who mistakes her beauty (though Aphrodite incarnate she may be) for her greatest strength, you will learn the hard way that when you enter a staring contest with this woman, you have one of two fates: you will either run in fear with the knowledge that she can see right through you or you will fall in love with her for that very reason. She shines her light in the darkness and the dark things scatter or become light. She is sexy and knows what to do with it. She is witty, strategic, discerning and diligent. It's hard not to smile when you think of her. It's impossible not to want more of her the more you get.

All my life, people have told me how much I look like my mother. And all my life, I've felt so honored by the compliment. I endeavor to this day to deserve such a comparison. She had a few days a few days ago that were wrought with distress, anger and criticism--mostly directed toward me. As her voice echoes in my being at the slightest whisper, her words struck deep and sharp. And in that crushing moment, I felt a keen rejoicing at the sheer veracity of this woman. She fights even now. And even now, I would stand in the fire again in an instant, just to hear her voice.

There are so few moments in our lives when the Fates call us to attention. Life screams at you to stretch and adapt. To be humbled and to have hope. To gaze upon the light and reflect once more into our very being. Though the image of oneself can be daunting, fearful even, the message is not one of obligation, expectation or even transcendence. It is healing. A dying star brings healing.


  1. This is beautifully written, Jessica. I hope you know how much you are in my thoughts and that my whole heart goes out to you and your family. I can relate to so much of this, even the part about the anger and criticism directed at you. As a caretaker, that is unfortunately part of the job. I'm so glad though that you recognize the anger as merely a symbol of the fight that still lives within her, and that it is something to be proud of her for. I know how difficult this point is and there isn't much anyone can say. I hope you can take comfort in knowing how many people's lives your mom has touched, how loved you both are, and how many people are waiting for you to lean on them, whenever that time may be. I am here if you need anything. Believe it or not, your words are comforting me, as I recognize so much of what you're going through and the things you see in your mother, I saw in mine as well. So thank you, for unknowingly being there for me right now. xoxox

  2. Jess, You have such a beautiful way of expressing life! Thank you for sharing your heart with so many of us that have loved your mom for a long time. I remeber the days when people we worked with would tremble in fear at her and call her "the dragon lady"....which is exactly why I loved her from the beginning. She inspired me to work hard for her and she made me earn her respect. I will always hear her voice in my heart and mind.
    Know that you and the entire family are thought about every day and if you ever need to talk, call anytime! You are a special lady and loved! xoxo, Kathy

  3. "It's impossible not to want more of her the more you get."

    So this is another reason why this is so heart wrenching for me.

  4. The unspoken truth is always the hardest to believe.
    Rejoice in the Heavens above..

  5. Jess - this one will last with me forever. I just got word - her light lives on in you, Josh and all who love her. We wish we could be there right now to hug and remember together. For now, by sweet cousin, just know we are all up here thinking of your house, and the light that was - and still is Aunt Dee.

  6. Godspeed my beautiful friend!
    You put up a good fight!
    You will be greatly missed!!!

    Jerilyn & Brian

  7. When I need to feel heaven around me and in me (everyday), I turn to the scriptures. I hope these fill your heart with peace and assurance:

    "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor 2:9)

    "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Cor 13:12)

    "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised." (1 Cor 15:51,52)

    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth...But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13,16)

    "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25)

    "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

    Jessica, you are the image of your lovely mother, Denise, and I am sure that will comfort you in all the years ahead. She has shown you, in vitality, grace, and strength, how to live and how to die. What better thing can we do for our parent, both earthly and heavenly, than to live in their image and to follow in their footsteps. Heaven is all around us, in the very air that we breathe, and she is as close to you now as she ever was in mortality. I have felt that myself with Uncle Joe and Grandpa Gomes. They are always near me and I feel them close by. My prayers are that you and Ben will feel the love and peace of our Savior in your hours of sorrow as well as the hours of joy spent remembering your precious mother.

    Love, hugs, hugs, and hugs,
    Auntie Jeannie