I sit at my desk, a candle burning, furnace humming, Beau sleeping on the chaise beside me.
Outside, the sky is slowly lightening as dawn gently pushes night away towards the west.
On this morning, a year ago, we were sitting vigil with my mother. We knew the end was near. We just didn’t know, today would be the day she took her last breath as her spirit released her body and she crossed over to that place where she believed completely that my father, brother, her parents and all her siblings who had gone before her were waiting, with open arms, to greet her.
We knew the moment was coming. We just didn’t know the time.
And then, we did.
10:35 am. Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
It has been a year today. A year of sadness. Sorrow. Grief. Joy. Laughter. Growth. Healing.
It has taught me many things. One of them being about the power of my mother’s prayers. The power of prayer isn’t in the one to whom we pray. It is in the one who prays.
Faith is like that. It isn’t about the one or ones or things or ‘its’ we believe in, or the doctrines of religion or church we follow and adhere to. It is in our ability to let go of questioning ‘the why’ or believing our ‘why’ is the way for others and breathing into what brings us peace, solace, comfort.
Prayer is a personal act of faith that reminds us to care about those for whom we pray.
My mother always knew that. It wasn’t that her faith got in the way of our relationship. It was that our ways were different and my questions, confusion, angst built a wall between our differences neither of us knew who to cross. The only way my mother knew how to take down that wall was through prayer.
She was wise that way. When she did not know what to do, she prayed.
Today is the one-year mark of our mother’s/grandmother’s passing. My sisters and daughters and I will gather later today on Zoom to mark the day, her life and this circle of love she created through her every breath.
I wrote this poem a year ago today as I sat in the quiet stillness of the morning just before my mother’s last breath.