Simply Eartha, Simply Mothers

A friend found a little gem of a blog called Simply Eartha, written by Eartha Kitt's daughter, Kitt Shapiro. I realized that there is nothing like running into a fantastic blog full of moving images and beautiful writing. I've always loved Eartha, loving the sass and strength every image on screen or print would invoke. It made me think about what makes a blog amazing. It comes with telling the truth. When a woman uses her blog space as a journal into her emotions, I feel invited into a special place. Even if I never meet this person, I still feel like I am on a journey with her. As she develops emotions around whatever she faces that day, I bear witness. Ms. Shapiro reminded me that I have the same ability. I can write what I feel. I can allow others to embark on the journey, even if only for a few moments.

I also felt haunted by her posts. I think passing along a quote she posted sums it up. 

"A person is born twice. First, at birth, and then again, when his mother dies." I heard Rufus Wainright say that on a recent CBS Sunday Morning show.

I am so blessed that my mother is still by my side. I have this ingrained sense of self just because she exists as my mother. When my confidence wains, there she is, with words to encourage me along. When I am confused, she is ready and waiting to help me decipher whatever is bothering me. After all, she's had 36 years of practice, 37 including the year I lived in her womb, getting to know the intricacies of me. I've also been blessed to have few arguments with her over the years. Yes, there have been disagreements, but no, they don't leave us alienated from each other, afraid to pick up the phone, angered to the point of silence for too long. On the rare occasion we falter from our friendship that has developed in my adult years, we come back, ready to share a forgiving, loving laugh about something that is not going to anger the other. 

I appreciate what I have. Many women cannot attest to seeing their mother as a friend. Many avoid phone calls and dismiss visits to only the occasional affair. I have been reminded by this lovely blog that life is too short and mothers, in many lives, are the foundation of the human we become. After losing my brother I realize that no one's day is promised, not mine, not hers, not the young daughters, the son, I cherish. The timing is not up to us and each day, each phone call, each visit should be treated as a sacred and special event. 

Today, my youngest said, "Glamma looks more like an Auntie than a grandma." I replied, "Yes, she does. She's quite blessed." I wondered what conversation they were having in preschool today. As the years, and gravity, pull me further into aging more than I would like, I admit mild jealousy of my fabulous mother. I understood Ms. Shapiro and the feeling of having the diva as a mother, one moment she is a shadow, the next moment she is a security blanket and the foundation all in one. And we love them and we are proud. But I do hope for the same physical attributes as time marches forward. I'd love to see the weight shed and the skin clear and the once fabulous self decades ago reappear. I do hope for a career to be proud of and a love that I can count on to be by my side.  As I deal with me, I learn to leave Mother out of the equation when I can. Or rather, she is a constant and not a variable. I stand on my own two feet as I am, acknowledging myself as a person outside of being Fay's daughter. At the same time, it's an honor. I don't mind the title. I think of it as a gift. I was gifted an amazing mother. I was reminded to appreciate her.


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