We spend our lives looking in the mirror, only sometimes happy with what we see. You know what? We may never be, but we should understand that our bodies are truly just vessels carrying our heart and soul and do not define who we are. After holding my mother’s hand these past three or four days and watching her fade away, I knew her body did not define her. For most of us, it is not the body that our loved ones truly love, although truth be told, Grammee’s little 4-foot 8-inch frame was pretty lovable.
Heart and Soul.
Our bodies are there for those who love us to have something to hold on to. They cannot embrace the heart and soul without the body. You cannot see a heart and soul, but you can get a glimpse of them in someone’s smile or the crinkle of their eyes.
The parts of a body that connect you are their face, smile, and eyes- they tell a story when they are happy, sad, or do something wrong, funny, or mischievous. Pure love resonating from the heart escapes and is displayed through the body. It is not in a pair of skinny jeans or a bathing suit, but it may be seen in an RIT or Alabama hoodie.
A kiss is the perfect blend of the body, heart, and soul. No truer expression of love exists, whether from a mother or true love. Our bodies are in a symphony with a kiss combining hugs and the person’s scent as you breathe it all in. You feel their soul, and what is inside them comes out.
Last night I said goodbye to my mother’s body, not to her. Her heart and soul already had wings and returned to where they were meant to be. I held my mother’s hand and saw her uniqueness, what some may call imperfections. Those imperfections told the story of her life. Her little body held my children and rocked them as infants, and her arthritic hands made countless bowls of pastina for my kids and fried pepper sandwiches for Chip and his brother. Her poor little legs formed the lap that they slept on. My mother was a true grammee in all meanings of the word. I love my mother for who she is and her high expectations for my children and me. Amelia and Jack saw my mother every day for the first 10-12 years of their lives, and as adults, they drove over to the house I was raised in and visited on the back porch with her. How lucky was that?
My mother’s heart and soul stayed with me when her body died and will remain with me until the end of my life.
In a blog post I wrote in 2017 entitled 35 Minutes with My Mother, I wrote, “My mother told me, “My knees hurt from praying so much!” This made me smile. The kids call her and tell her when they have exams or events that need a little divine intervention. I swear she has a hotline to God.” Well, it is our turn now to pray, and I ask those who have been the recipient of her prayers to send a little message to the heavens to welcome Grammee and may she be at peace, maybe even having a pizza with Chip.