Posted in My Bonnie, Voices

a motherless mother’s chant…

(a guest post from a beloved)

bb9ca5041163ba25e5969b03511ad796I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I have him.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother .
Because I had them.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I have her.

I don’t have a mother.
I don’t need a mother.
Because I am.

~Lauren Salasin Czaplicki

Posted in My Bonnie, Voices

September 1st

(a guest post from a beloved)

“September is bittersweet for me…

There was a time I literally cried my eyes out when September came because it meant my summer friends were leaving…
Nights hanging out at the arcade came to a close along with most of the stores.
My street, which had been a constant party, was emptying.
School was starting, and I dreaded it.

As I got older, I began to love September–the cooler days, empty beaches & restaurants.
Parking spots!

Then it happened…

She was taken from me in September, just like my summer friends, just like the crowded streets, the dock parties, the fun.

The pain of September returned.

My mother was gone at what was supposed to be my most ” fun” summer, ever, at the shore–my 21st .

While all my friends did Ladies Nights and Monday Nights at the Princeton, I sat by her bedside.
Slept in her bed beside her,
bathed and changed her.
Read her the crossword puzzle every day.

September came and by the 7th night we knew she was leaving us.

I lay in her bed all night, surrounded by all my siblings and their babies on air mattresses covering her living room floor.
I chose to stay awake all night and stroke her hair and sing her the same lullabies she sang to me as a little girl…
Telling her to let go…
We would be ok…

I left her bedside early that morning to get the coffee started, while everyone else was still asleep, and as I did, she took her last breath.

September would never be the same.

I long to love September as all the locals do, but l just can’t.
The sounds, sights and the cool air just bring me back…

Back to saying goodbye to my friends as a child,
and back to saying good bye to my closest friend, my confidante.

The feeling is always the same on September 1st.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this now–16 years later. I guess seeing all these posts of how lovely September is and wanting so badly to join in…

Maybe by sharing there will be some sort of release.”

~Bonnie Salasin Brown
September 1, 2016

Posted in Markers, Poetry

Holy Week Meditations

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Good Friday.

The world is crying. With rain.
Time shrunk into single themes.
Shame time. Guilt time. Loss time. Hate.
Folded onto itself, like the press of an accordion.
Each fear, for instance, experienced at once.
Each ache.
All the ways we are wrong.
No room for breath.
Breath.
Expanding the folds of time.
Releasing me.
Into we.
With the rain.

On Crucifixion Day, I think of therapists–all those who make sacred the pain of others. Of social workers–who advocate for those who suffer. Of activists–who champion the cause. Of teachers–who point the way through. Of artists–who awaken the soul of hope. Of politicians–who define the course of a nation.

By Easter Eve, I found my mind, petal soft–the gift of a day of meditation with Tara Brach. By Easter morning, there is a personality Resurrection. Petals crushed by grasping.

I missed Easter once before–in 2007–during a training. I wasn’t nearly as sad this time (my kids are older now), but I did mourn the absence of ritual until I realized that I had been delivered an even better Easter Basket:

Deep presence… my rich chocolate bunny;
Beginning again (and again)–my egg hunt;
Tara’s jokes–color-full jelly beans;
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health–the basket;
300 students–the grass of consciousness;
Tara Brach‘s Loving Presence weekend–received.

Posted in Uncategorized

let your heart be light…

My heart takes me from this bed, in this home, filled with family, into the future–alone, an old woman, in a wheel chair, celebrating Christmas without gifts, or a tree, or a meal to prepare, or obligations to fulfill…

Kelly & Lila

Mary & the Angel Gabriel, from Julie Vivas, the Nativity Heart to Heart, Mary & the Angel Gabriel, The Nativity, Julie Vivas

I wake in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve day, too early to get up, but too late to fall back to sleep because my heart has something to say.

It is ready to release the heaviness it carries at Christmas.

Christmas Past…

My heart shares the weight of all those years shuffling between houses after the divorce. The heaviness of leaving a parent behind. The longing to fill the void between those whose love once created life.

It talks to me about my mother’s drinking, her loneliness, her pain, her efforts. How it carried that weight too.

It shows me my first Christmas apart. In the Rockies. The emptiness. The space. The breath.

It moves to my first Christmas in my own apartment. The joy. The simplicity. The light.

Christmas Future…

My heart takes…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Christmas Grieving Day!

Next year:
Happy Christmas Eve eve.
What grieves you?

Kelly & Lila

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I wake heavy and slow. I pull on a long skirt and grab the men’s flannel shirt that I picked up at the second hand store.

I check the fire. I light candles. I put on Christmas music. I consider my to do list. (The one I had been eager to address.)

I fill a bowl of kitchari. I sit on the couch. I open the computer. I read.

I realize I’m sad.

I google: Christmas Date with Mom; and then add: Kelly Salasin.

I find my post from 2009. I critique my writing. I begin editing. Line by line tears fill my eyes. I close the computer. I finish chewing. I sob.

I worry someone might hear me. I hold my heart. I say, Ow, ow, ow.

I read more of my Christmas writing from years past. I feel soothed. And tired. I realize that I always write in…

View original post 134 more words

Posted in My Bonnie

for Bonnie’s Birthday

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Our mother on her Christmas Birthday. (Michelle, the third oldest, directly in front of our father.)

My sister Michelle has our mother’s quiet, introspective nature, and her propensity for mothering a large family.

They both have big hearts too. Michelle took hers abroad, to Cambodia, where she has been living and working with her husband and their four youngest children for a year and counting.

This Christmas (aka. our mother’s birthday), Michelle longs to be reunited with her college-age children. Her oldest, Rebekah, who is a writer like her aunt, created a Go Fund Me campaign to help with the cost of the flight for her and her brother Andrew. This will be their first trip abroad.

Michelle's youngest in Cambodia ready to be embraced.
Michelle’s youngest in Cambodia waiting for her big sister.

It brings me great joy to imagine these siblings and parents reunited.
If it does you too, consider contributing.
We only could afford a little, but things like hope and love grow little by little, and sometimes in big leaps.

Click here to find out more.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

522-1556

What’s in a number…

Kelly Salasin

my mom’s phone was disconnected today
and although she’s been dead for three years
it felt like the umbilical cord had been ripped between us

my stepfather had finally dropped her outgoing message a few months back
until then we could call
and hear her voice
the one before she got sick
before she herself had an umbilical cord
to an oxygen machine
in her living room

Just a simple 609-522-1556
and I could call
and leave her a message.
“Hi Mom, how are you?  Aidan is three now.”
“Hi Mom, Lloyd has the lead in his school play.”
“Hi Mom, Merry Christmas,  You’d be 60 today.  You’d hate that.”

609 522 1556
“That’s my mother’s number,  Isn’t it honey?
It says it’s disconnected.
How could that be?”

Later I find that my stepfather is changing the phone into his name
and somehow they disconnected the line.
What if he’s…

View original post 117 more words