Thursday, March 21, 2013

She put it on the shelf for me.

A favorite photo I have with my mom and I from when I was a kid.

This April, it will be three years since mom died.  I can't believe I've lived that long without her.  In so many ways it still feels so fresh, in others, so much has happened that it feels like she passed long ago.  I think though, because of who she was and how so much of her was a part of me, in many ways it still feels like she is still with me.

I get frustrated at times when I can't just pick up the phone and give her a ring.  Sometimes I ask her aloud, "Mom?  What the heck do I do now?" or "Did you see that mom?"  Yes, she is a part of me.  Even though I can't actually hear her voice with my ears, I can hear her speaking into my thoughts.  This time of year always brings back more memories than usual.  I definitely feel inspired to write about her, she was an amazing women and touched the lives of many people.  My heart still aches for her, even just today, when I was feeling sick and moping about it, I looked at my hubby and said, "I miss my mommy."  Some things will never change.

On a sweet side of things, I have a cute story for you all.  It was an incident that showed me just how connected I still am with my mother; reminding me that she is still around, looking after me and my loved ones, just as she always did.  My sweet mom.

. . . .

As you know, this winter, Gary fell and cracked a rib (or two).  I was treating it with a comfrey poultice and trying my best to think of different herbs to help in his healing process.  My mom had taught me a lot of her herbal ways, I even sat with her week after week while she went through all the body systems and she told me what was good for what.  Of course, only so much of the knowledge has stuck, but it's only a note pad away.   After she died, I kept a lot of her own notes, she had binder's full from classes she sat through over the years.  It's nice to go through them and see her thinking, I rub my fingers over her handwriting.

I was wracking my brain as to what else I could give to Gary to help with his lungs.  He asked me to give him something to tonify and keep his lungs strong.  He had started to have difficulty breathing with the slightest exertion and it was worrisome.  I searched on the internet and came to a page that listed herbal lung tonics.  I landed on Elecampagne.  My mom had talked a lot about the herb, she had asthma and used it herself.  I even remember her pointing it out in the garden as she showed me all her garden herbs.  After my research I sat for a minute thinking where in the heck I was going to get Elecampagne tincture, since I hadn't used it before I didn't think I had any.  My mom had given me a little "first aid" kit with lots of different herbal "essentials" and I thought if I had it, it would be there.

I stood up and walked into my pantry trying to remember where the kit was.  Most of my herbs and tinctures were still in boxes from our move.  I was under the impression that I had only pulled out what I had needed thus far, I had really wanted to organize my herbal arsenal and getting all the bottles out of the boxes seemed pointless.  I was wrong about that though, somehow, this tincture, that I didn't even know I had, was sitting right in front of me for months.

The infamous bottle, I love her handwriting
I flipped on the light and there it was, right on the shelf waiting for me.  I hadn't even noticed it before that moment, and I go in and out of that room probably 20 times in a day!  It was the very first bottle I saw when I walked into the room, and a large 32 oz bottle at that!  As if my mom had put it there herself.  I could hear her voice in my head saying, "I made you do the work figuring out what herb to use, now here is the medicine!"

I smiled, then I cried, then I prepared some medicine for my husband and said allowed, "Thank you Mom."  I know she was with me.  I know it was her.  It WAS her!  Wether it was her ghost or her spirit leading me, whatever (!); somehow, she had given me the for-sight to figure out what was needed and then led me to the actual medicine that she had prepared for me years before.

Our dead are always with us, especially the ones we love.  They imprint themselves into our lives and onto our souls.  I see my mother everywhere I look--in the echinacea plants that are beginning to grow in our garden, in my sons blue eyes, in the things I say and do, in her favorite movies, in sayings I hear, and even in my very own pantry!  She is everywhere.  When I miss her physically, I only need to look around and there she will be, in one form or another, joining me along life's ride with her sweet smile and her words filling my heart with her motherly love.


  1. How very beautiful this is, Jess. What a wonderful woman she was--and you are too.

  2. What a delight to have this back and forth with you mum, in your everyday life. You're clearly still deeply connected and it's a beautiful thing. Love to you my dear.

  3. I don't go on to FB very often, but just stumbled across your post. How beautiful.
    You are so lucky to have this great connection with your mom ... and that it continues the way it does ... even better.


  4. How wonderful that must have been. Just reading about it and thinking about it made me cry.