The Happy Warrior
“Who is the happy Warrior? Who is she that every man in arms should wish to be? It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought among the tasks of real life, hath wrought upon the plan that pleased her girlish thought; Whose high endeavors are an inward light that makes the path before her always bright; Who, with a natural instinct to discern what knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn; Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, but makes her moral being her prime care; Who, doomed to go in company with pain, and fear, and bloodshed, miserable train! Turns her necessity to glorious gain; In face of these doth exercise a power which is our human nature’s highest dower; Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves of their bad influence, and their good receives; By objects, which might force the soul to abate her feelings, rendered more compassionate; Is placable—because occasions rise so often that demand such sacrifice.” – William Wordsworth
I’ve been meaning to write, I’m sorry. Perhaps it was my fear. I was afraid to make real your death with written words. Even so, as I commit to this dreadful journey of acceptance, I hold on to my faith and my deep love for you to guide me.
So, what does your number one fan say about you? How can I adequately capture all the bends and curves that make up the 77 years of your travels on Gaia, mother to all life? Truthfully, I could never capture all of you like a child and firefly in a glass jar. Because you are free and always have been. And you made me free, too. Free to believe I can fly and shine my light like a firefly despite the dangers even a child with a glass jar can pose. I fly free, fearlessly, because of you.
Mom, there’s so much more I wanted to say. So much more I wanted to experience with you. Is it unfair to be angry; perhaps, but I am. However, your wisdom has anchored me to solid ground. You faced life with fear, fearlessly. You were truly a magic woman, Mom. Life was harsh but somehow you forged ahead, making new paths that others continue to follow. You were an entrepreneur in a time and place that deliberately stunted your growth as the rare flower you were born to be. And yet, you forged ahead with fear, fearlessly. I’m still entranced by your magic, Mom. You sprouted unique roots and rose to meet your calling apart from the people around you. You loved a stranger with fear, fearlessly. For love, you chose to disobey your teachings and forged ahead, with fear, fearlessly. When you bore children, you carried each one of them to solid ground despite the rising waters threatening you. You cared for us with great lack and fear, and you did it fearlessly. I can never repay you for all you did for us, but I can show you through my own life how much you have shaped and inspired me.
Mom, when I think back to old days, I regret that I could not come to your rescue sooner. You suffered tremendously. Mom, you suffered for years right under the noses and in clear view of those who speak of their love for you. Many were even comforted by your state of despair and hurt. And yet, you forged ahead. You moved mountains despite it all. You lived a life exemplary of dignity, kindness, respect, duty, loyalty and most of all, love. You gave love freely and fearlessly, even to those undeserving of your grace and mercy. This is your legacy, magic woman. You didn’t just teach us to always love and forgive, you taught us why. Maar neem me niet kwalijk, Mima, the why is still an uphill battle for me.
Mom, despite your illness, I am comforted by the life you got to experience in America. You said I gave you relief. I wish I could have brought it to you sooner. We went to Canada, made new friends and discovered a world previously closed to you. Our mutual appreciation for the spirits made the ride that much more memorable. You fell in love with George. I’ll never forget the twinkle he put in your eyes that night you two danced like long lost lovers reunited. It was beautiful Mom, and I’m so grateful you got to dance and feel a love only shared by lovers.
We kept a garden, raised chickens and fished with PJ. You danced with Nick and was there for his graduation. Open hearted and full of grace. I will always remember you surrounded by the love you so deserved all along the way of your incredible life. Mima, I have no words to comfort myself let alone all those you left behind. Your passing has left me shattered. Unhooked from the dock of your safety and anchored to a pain I have never experienced. I want to accept but it’s simply too final. And so, I will remember you, always. I will remember your laughter, your kind and sweet smile that spoke of a love so pure, it can only be supernatural. Mom, you were infectious. Mysterious and beautiful, inside and out.
Mima, I will miss you and forever regret your physical departure. You left me standing as the strong woman you nurtured, protected and loved. And in your giant footsteps, I will forge ahead with love and kindness, fearlessly. May you Rest in Power, Queen Mother.
Mother; Noun: Secret keeper, friend, peace maker, teacher; Keeper of the family, angel, saint.