I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother. She died three years ago today (Feb 27) of breast cancer. It was a hard end to a long sickness, painful and sad. But I like to remember her as she is here, happy and healthy. She used to say that the best days of her life were when my brother and I were little. She loved us fiercely and we knew it. My mom was a woman of great passion and strength. She was my refuge, a place for my tears to land. As a child, I can remember the sensation of the world’s problems melting away when I was in her arms. I think about this now that I’m a mother myself. Will my arms have the same magical powers to sooth? Will I be Isa’s refuge too?

I miss my mom, even more so since Isa was born. I imagine what her face would have been like holding him for the first time. I imagine all the conversations we would have had, mother to mother, and I realize how much I still had to learn from her. I also imagine the hard times she would have given me too—that much I’ve been spared! (“What kind of name is Isa?” I can hear her say)


If my mom had lived to see Isa born, she would have loved, loved, LOVED him to pieces. She wanted so much to see my child in her life time. All I can do is introduce him to her now and hope she is here watching over him, watching over all of us, really.


So, mom. This is Isa. He’s amazing. He’s growing like a weed—he must be over 12lbs by now. He makes the funniest guttural grunts when he wants some attention, like the little animal he is. Did I do that as a baby? Do you remember? He’s just beginning to smile at us and every morning, Eddie and I have a ritual where we bring him into the bed and we both play with him, cooing and talking and he just loves it! He yelps and wiggles and laughs and we all get so filled with delight that I feel I might burst. I wish you could see it. Eddie says he’s got the Repole eyes. I think he’s right. They are incredibly big and when he looks at you, you can feel he’s taking you all in. He’s at a stage where he only sleeps when you hold him, but he’s entitled. He’s only 61/2 weeks old, so I think he deserves to be held as much as he wants right now. Oh mom, I wish you could see him. He’s everything to me. I am so grateful that you were my mom. Without you, I would not have this heart full of love to give to Isa. I love you mom.


3 responses to “mother

  1. i have tears in my eyes reading this. what a wonderful thing for yu to write to your mom this way. i’m sure she’s watching over you.

  2. Lovely words. She would have loved Isa as she loved you.

  3. Palma, I’ve been regrettably out of touch with you for years, and didn’t know about your mom. I remember her vividly, though we met long ago and briefly. I’m sure she loves Isa and is overflowing for him and you.

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