I went to the cemetery yesterday to visit my mother’s grave before heading to work in Boston.
It was a beautiful day; the sun was brilliant, nary a cloud in the indigo sky, a slight warm breeze.
Suffice to say, I had a sentimental moment.
Maybe it was the fact that my father may not be here next Mother’s Day, maybe it was the bittersweet feeling I got driving through my old neighborhood.
I’m not really sure.
In my mind’s eye, I could see myself as a child running through the backyards of my youth without a care in the world.
For some reason I was missing my mother more this year than any previous one.
Couldn’t put my finger on it but the longing was undeniable, inescapable.
I arrived at the cemetery and walked up to her grave, placing a white rose on the cold granite stone bench bearing her name and I whispered a prayer, a Hail Mary.
I sat alone and talked to the empty cemetery as if she was sitting right next to me, and maybe she was.
I asked questions about my life that currently had no answers; dark fears and unfulfilled dreams.
A few tears fell to the ground watering the place where she lay but oddly enough they weren’t sad tears.
With every teardrop that fell, the better I felt.
That was my mother’s way: to make the sunshine come impossibly through the rain.
I kissed the palm of my hand and touched her name before leaving feeling much better than when I arrived.
I now know that she was there, somehow.

Later that day, I received an email from my twin sister, m~ , with ‘Mom’ in the subject box.
I knew she would be visiting the cemetery later that day and thought the email would mention that she saw the white rose and scribbled note I’d left hours earlier.

Her email mentioned that exact thing.
She also mentioned that for some reason she was missing Mom more this year than usual though she didn’t quite know why.
It was another affirmation that we will always be connected, always be twins.

We experienced the same emotional experience several hours apart.
I considered it a small gift sent down from my mother.
Knowing her as I did, she’d have it no other way.

(photo courtesy of Kel)

23 thoughts on “Stone

  1. Your words are beautiful, once again! I believe your Mom was and is with you….and will be always. I love the words that your Mom had a way to make the sunshine come impossible through the rain. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray…..I have a feeling she was that for you!! How great to have had that!
    What a special Mom!

    One word: Amen
    Thanks so much for reading, Lynn.

  2. Reading your lines, seeing the signature, light words on a night’s background, and the calming blue.

    It’s beautiful.
    It’s perfect.
    It’s what I’ll think of next time I visit a cemetery.

    Always the perfect comment.
    Kelly’s picture helped make the post nice as well.
    As always, thanks, S
    Much appreciated.

  3. What else can be said? Perfect is already taken and there is no other way to say it…..

    Awww, you guys.
    Too nice.
    I have the feeling I better post something a bit outrageous very soon. ;)
    Thanks, Jen

  4. ….dark fears and unfulfilled dreams?
    Let me count mine ~m…funny how one part of a line can jump out isn’t it?
    Never doubt she’s beside you no matter where you are…and one very proud Mother I’m thinking, of 2 remarkable children, for I have no doubt your sister is quite simply a female version of you inside…deep, thoughtful, insightful and quite amazing..more is the pity..
    Glad you felt better for the tears..they can be quite cleansing, but few see them that way….
    I envy you your place, but one day…

    My sister a female version of me?
    Hmmm, maybe in some ways for sure.
    She has less facial hair to be sure and more on the top of her head.
    Plus, she’s very pretty.
    People don’t say the same about me. ;)
    Thanks, Moe

  5. I too was singing the same as Lynn. Amazing that you and your sister were thinking and feeling the same, although probably not considering you are twins. I hope that in time your Mum will show you the answers to your questions, even if she can’t answer them with words. And Anonymum is right, tears can be very cleansing.

    Believe me, G, my mom answers many questions.
    I’m just not always prepared for the answers.
    Funny that it’s the same way now as it was when she was alive.
    Anytime someone hears a song in my post, my job is done.
    Thanks so much for the visit.

  6. you know, michael, i think you are one of those rare people who has a true soul connection to your mother. we all love our parents but your love seems to transcend the norm and brings the phrase, kindred spirit, to mind. i suppose each of us has some semblance of this in our lives, i know i do – but with my father, long dead, but so very much alive in my deepest self. i think too, i might be able to guess why you miss her more lately. lots of big changes, yes?

    Sarah, you have the enviable ability to peer into the soul of another.
    Maybe that’s one of the reasons you write so damn well.
    Thanks so much for the moving comment.
    be well,

  7. I wish I could see the photo…it’s blocked from me here at work.
    But thanks for making me remember that I have a mom here that I forget to be thankful for. I spent a little time with her for mother’s day but was rushed and I should give her a call and just spend some time and enjoy the time that I have.

    Bless your dear little heart, you’re such a good son for not only doing what you should but also for taking the time to feel the strong emotions and letting them have control over you for a few, just to clean your soul.

    Sorry…I just go on and on.

    Feel free to go on and on, CG.
    That’s one of the wonderful things about this blog.
    I think people learn from the comments.
    So many damn brilliant people visit here.
    I am blessed. As I am to have received this comment.
    Call your Mom, okay?

  8. Such wonderful connections for you, even in moments of loneliness and sadness. Your beautiful words honor those connections. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks for reading, Mrs V.
    If only my high school English teacher could see me now. ;)
    Love it when you visit.

  9. Michael, I’m honored that you used one of my photos for such a great post about such a personal subject. I’m fairly sure that your mum hears your thoughts and knows your heart….and with your poignant words, the rest of the world now knows too.

    Hope you are well and will talk soon.
    Luv Kell

    I wrote this post and immediately thought of the email you’d sent me.
    I did change the color (hope you don’t mind, I’m such a b&w freak)
    I am well and thank you for fixing my ‘top posts’ widget.
    You should start a damn online WordPress school.
    I’m serious.
    Thanks again, kiddo.

  10. I did one better and took her to lunch.
    And the old man and myself went over to see his grandparents as well today. We had a great visit. Thanks!

    Love when people take my advice.
    Hope lunch was wonderful.
    Thanks for keeping me posted.

  11. Another beautiful post. So glad that you still have your twin on this rock. It’s the best gift your mom could have given you. And I see you live in the same state as me. :) Howdy, neighbor!

    Interesting comment.
    If you read a bit more of my blog you’ll see why.
    I like being mysterious. ;)
    Thanks so much for the visit, teeni.

  12. A beautiful post and as anonymum said, the line that jumps out is the deceptively simple “….dark fears and unfulfilled dreams.” That and “..running through the backyards of my youth.. ” I have been doing some of that lately with my brother. It can be fun fun or sad fun. And he wants me to write it down – - -

    Write it down, Archie.
    It’s the very best thing you can do.

  13. She was there, yes.
    I don’t believe she ever leaves your side.

    An angel on my shoulder, eh?
    I sometimes wonder who’s on the other side.
    Probably Evyl :mrgreen:

  14. You are right, it is a great picture. Often battling with black and white images myself, I do appreciate it fully.
    Well done Kelly! :-)

    Hey Spaz, Kell here utilising her admin status (hope you don’t mind ~m)
    Thanks! Let me know if you want to see more..I have online albums
    Cheers, Kelly

    *Kel, I don’t mind one single bit. For all you’ve done here? ;)
    If this post turns someone on to your photo’s it will be worth it.

  15. I’m glad somehow you felt better after some tears… must have felt like a weight was lifted off your shoulders. She was there. Sounds like you and your sister also have an amazing bond-

    Me and the sis are pretty cool twins.
    We have some interesting stories as well.

  16. m squared, it took awhile for me to be able to respond to this. in part, because i am still blessed to have both parents on this side, and allow myself to experience a strange sort of guilt over that, but mostly, because the image of you kissing your hand and placing it on her name, then walking away…just made me inexorably sad.

    tender and beautiful, but still so overwhelmingly sad.

    I guess I’m just a sad kind of guy.
    But you know me. I can be pretty damn funny too.
    Can’t I? (?????) ;)

  17. BTW, love the new timepiece…wonderful touch!

    i may have to stray from wordpress eventually…it’s a kick in the pants for a visual artist to not be able to manipulate text and images. let me out of this box, dammit! it’s too confining and restrictive…can’t…breathe…

    I’m a sucker for clocks. What can I say?
    Plus I know when I have to log off and get in the shower without looking at my wristwatch.
    Sign of a hardcore blogger, huh?

  18. wow. everything you write these days holds such an emotional charge…love the new site.

    Thanks, Kim.
    I really do hope you ‘find’ your blogroll!

  19. Just stopping by to say Hi, I know it’s been a long time. I like the new blog!!
    Take care my friend.

    So nice to see you Ash. A very nice surprise comment.
    And your comment is followed by another of our mutual friends I see . . . (Carn)
    I’ll be by soon.
    Be well, bud

  20. It was a “God wink.” I have never felt a connection like you and your sister have. That must be just amazing.

    I love that you used the phrase ‘God wink’.
    My sister and I have always had a fairly strong connection.
    It’s a fascinating story that may someday be published, after I publish my mother and father’s story.
    I hope . . .
    So nice to see you, Carn.
    Still waiting for your trip up to Beantown.
    We could just hang on Yawkey Way during a Red Sox game and eat sausage, peppers and onions, ad nauseum.
    (and drink beer, obviously)

  21. Aw, man. Now I feel like a dope. Please forgive me but I am slow. I’m enjoying reading more of your blog and I will continue to do so as long as you continue writing. So far what I’ve learned is that you are a fantastic writer, a spiritual person, that you lost your mom to Alzheimer’s, and your dad is also suffering from the disease. But I don’t understand why my comment was interesting. Did I miss something? Again, I apologize but these days I’m like a little kid and I can’t take suspense. Sometimes I just need a kick in the pants. ;) Other than that, I’m a pretty nice person.

    email sent.

  22. I know Michael, I need to get up there. Though you are going to have to find me some tofu sausage. Nittanybri can power some down with you. I know I’ll definitely be up that way in the next two years. My nephew will be graduating from college and I can’t miss the ceremony. And most def will have to stop in Boston, Cape Cod, NYC!! I’ll take two weeks!! Thanks for the invite!

    Forgot about the sausage thing. Goh!
    I’ll look into some alternative game chow . . .

  23. There is no doubt that your mom was with you – both at the gravesite and in your everyday life.

    That is one of the things that have helped shape me, hoping that I don’t embarass my mother too much up there.

    After the YouTube thing, I don’t know . . . ;)
    Thanks, Grimm.

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