my mother is worried.
the grapes ripen on the vine and the white clouds sit in bluest sky.
there’s a lot to worry about.
she’s telling stories.
grandma bessey’s house. she and her brother and sisters would stay there when her parents fought too long. grandma bessey, a savior of sorts, with her dug out root cellar and no electricity or running water.
i like to picture it.
a strong grandmother cooking on a wood stove, taking care of her daughter’s children right in the middle of nowhere, lighting lanterns of hope in the night.
my mother is worried about the kids and getting back. she’s worried about my dad and how much she weighs. my mother is worried about the stories she reads in the newspapers.
i’m taking pictures.
the sky so big. the vineyard right in front of us. we bought a bottle of montage. i like that winery sign right there, how it’s faded just so. i like those flowers hanging down from the window boxes.
i like everything i see.
i like my mother.
second oldest girl raised in poverty and abuse. i like my mother.
telling grandma bessey that she sees a bear when they were out picking wild strawberries. i like my mother.
her laugh louder than her worry, gathering her grandchildren around her for days and nights and more days besides. her care for them a much changed kind of shelter than the one grandma bessey offered.
i like my mom.
her worry ticking away like minutes in an hour, like hours in a day. her laughter pulling us all in close. when she thinks no one is looking, i see her kiss the palm of her hand and offer love and gratitude to the sky.