Sunday, 8 May 2016

To the most important other woman in my life: my mother: I love you, wherever you are, your spirit, your beauty, your generosity, even your sorrow.

She has not been on earth for 24 years now. Were she still here, she might not be comfortable with an outright declaration of love either. We didn't declare love in those days, at least not in our family. Too sentimental. Though she did like love songs and love scenes in movies. It was just a case of "don't try this at home."

What she did crave was honor, which society largely withheld. She was after all only a housewife. No one much credited that she was a hero, fled East Prussia as a refugee, for example, with three small children, two of which survived, and a younger sister in 1945. She worked in factories and other jobs whenever family economy required. She was brilliant. She loved beauty, colorful fabrics. She loved to dance which she almost never got to do.

She did what had to be done and she lived well, despite the sparse applause and love and honor in her life. We all eventually do well enough with what honor and love we are spared by a largely indifferent and negligent (if not outright hostile) culture.

I wish I could wrap her brilliant spirit in a mantle of honor and light and love.

To all mothers who are and have ever been on earth: Be important today.