moms, wings & christmas at nautilus teachings



the tree is up
the tiny colored lights
are twinkling at me
dusk is arriving fast
i pop in one of
my mothers favorite movies,
“it’s a wonderful life”
pour myself a drink
and sit
with a box
beside me,
as my
reeled memory
begins to unwind
childhood christmas’s
on the blue braided rug
my knotted hair
and the truth,
even though we were poor
my mother made
christmas magic…
i slowly lift the top
of the silver box
and peek inside
my heart skips a beat
as i say to the boys,
‘it’s still in one piece boys…’
then i look upward
close my eyes
and whisper
‘thank you God.
i may have grown up
and let my mother die,
but this is one piece of her
i need,
thank you
for keeping it safe…’

every year
her ornament is the first
and only piece
i place upon the tree
that first night of lights…
i pick it up
twirl it in my fingers
and well up with tears,
how i wish she was here…
so much is happening
in my life
so many changes
and although i am embracing it all
with an open heart
and mind
i still wish
she could sit with me
place her hand upon
my thigh
look into my eyes
and say,
‘ya know, sher,
is going to be ok…
it’s your turn now
to teach your
beautiful daughter
how to be a mom
just like i taught you…’


our middle daughter
is expecting
next year
and her ultrasound
this week
will confirm
the baby is healthy
and soon
my freckle faced beauty
will herself

i rise up
take a long,
slow sip
of my drink
pick up the ornament
and begin to
as tears glide down my cheek
the boys gather near my feet
and as i crumble to the floor
finn begins to lick my tears
as reef places his head
upon my lap
nudging me softly
both letting me know

i pause for a few moments
and take in the
black and white classic
playing upon my
huge smart tv…
again i find myself
twirling back
to the 60’s,
i was 5 when we
got our first black and white
donna reed
enters screen right
as i hit the pause button…
it may be me,
but she always reminds
me of my mom
the scene is
george and mary
dancing in the high school
as the floor moves
as you know
as the crowd cheers
louder and louder
the two of them
eventually end up in the pool
and continue dancing
and soon
everyone jumps in…

this is my sign
it is time to hang the ornament
on our tree
and then wash off
the glory of a beautiful weekend…
i finish my drink
look out as d is reading in the spa
the blue and white lights
glowing against the gray sky
boys are sleep
belly up
legs spread wide
and i know
thanksgiving weekend is over
the holiday
begins tomorrow
and my list
the one i began earlier
this week
is long, endless
and full of anticipation
of the people
the colors
the friendship
and scents
that will grace my life
this upcoming 6 weeks,
the ultrasound
of our
new grandbaby….


‘ok, mom’
i say,
‘time to begin.
may God bless you
and our family,
may you know
you are always with me
always alive within
and that all your
great grandbabies
will know of you
through me
and combined
with my faith
and traditions
you instilled in me
as a child
they will continue
regardless of how much
the world has changed
or how the young people think…
after all Rumi said,
“we are all just walking
each other home,”
you said,
“we are all born a bit broken
and we all deserve love…’
and Leonard Cohen said
“there is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in…”

i gently place the round
tiny sphere
upon the tree
step back
and take it all in…
i feel my mothers
arms encompass me
and as i turn around
i remember the words
from the movie i have been watching,
as little zuzu
smiles in her daddy’s arms
georges friends all gathered
around singing
the movie is ending
as she says,
‘daddy, teacher says,
every time a bell rings
and angel gets its wings…’
i secure the ball
and whisper,
‘merry christmas mommy,
you’ve got your wings…”