Painting My Mother

I drew my mother for the first time when I was in art school, and didn’t draw her again until she had her first, then second stroke, and became like a child to me. Nothing prepares you.

When my mother passed, I was lost. I did not know how to survive, but I started to paint, madly, and write, always. I pulled the despair out of me and onto paper.

I painted my pain, then angels, and then my mother began to nudge me, telling me it was time to paint her. I looked for her in the wedding photos that were taken when she was just nineteen. I found her in the hours, days and weeks that I spent looking into her face, her eyes.

She was, then, and is, now, my angel, constant in her watch over me.

Beloved mother, you never leave my side. Your beautiful, gnarled, arthritic feet rest in my lap, and I am home. You lie in the shadows of me, keeping me from harm.