Sometimes. A body just needs to know. To feel. A mother’s love. To know that she is there. That she’s within arm’s length, when storylines get dark, ominous, sinister. That she is only a whisper away. When the plot thickens to a portentous climax. When the theatrics prove a bit too much to take. One needs a comforting hand, a steady shoulder to lean on. A warm body to touch. A mother to cling to.
When the world just seems too much to take in. A mother slows life down with her soothing hand, her gentle touch.
The brazen ones say they can do things on their own. That they are strong. Tough. Independent. That they’re too old for this silliness. That they are enough in and of their own strength. But one forgets sometimes. A body needs a mother.
Even if. Only sometimes.
It often takes a crisis to remember all the reasons why this is so. Takes a sudden jolt to bring one’s world to a frightening halt. The clutches of a vicious rattle in the chest. And suddenly, hospital corridors summon. Prescriptions take up the empty cupboard space. The covers on the bed are adjusted a hundred times, and medicine vials are filled and emptied. Filled and emptied. Machines whir vapour mist into the lungs, freeing the soul to inhale. Exhale. Breathe. And the mother becomes the doctor and the nurse.
A mother’s love, a balm that heals.
It takes a wind storm, cutting off connections to the real world. When the lights flicker, then dim. Dark replacing light. Even then. A body can need a mother. Sometimes even a boy who is old enough to not need a mother, brave enough to do things on his own. Even he sometimes needs his mother. To walk together through dark passage ways where no one wants to walk alone. To play a slow game of chess to pass the time. A boy needs a mother. To chat about the day’s events and share a cuppa hot steaming broth.
A mother’s presence fills the void.
It takes growing pains, sharp knife-like throbs in strong, young legs. That only a mother can ease with equally strong, knowing hands. Erasing the pain so slumber finds its way at last. It takes a mother to hold close the fearful, the wounded, the lonely, the discouraged, the heart-sick, the restless. A mother knows just when is right to talk, when is right to listen.
And yet. A mother can only do so much. Only as much as the day allows. As much as she is able. And when she is unable? Sometimes even capable, competent she, even a mother needs a mother. One who can bear her load and lessen the toll that comes with mothering. To lend an ear, a shoulder, a helping hand. A mother needs a mother. And when mothers receive, they are then able to give back threefold. For a mother’s returns are always more than her acquisitions.
A body always needs a mother. Even when that body is a mother herself.