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  • Tricia Campbell

My Mother, Force of Nature


Floating, soaring

Sinking, swirling 

Into the caverns of the deep below.

They call to me sweetly, but I can’t make out their voices.

“What do you want?”

Only silence.

“What do you need?”

Silence still.

Glittering, glistening.

I feel it on my skin,

the yellow hot sun.

Even beneath the cracking crust,

I can feel the red-ness and warmth below.

Again, I hear its calls to the dark depths.

Do I dare go?

The sirens soulful serenades mesmerize me.

Emotions begin like ripples in a pond

and turn swells as they wash over me.

“Where do you come from?” 

It is her voice I hear,

“Somewhere deep.”

She is here.

She is always here.

The sun’s heat envelops

Like her warm arms around me, comforting,


The golden dawn now sets before me

reflected in the glittering and glistening sea

like diamonds. - tricia campbell


Mother's Day isn't an easy day for some people, like me, who have lost their moms. This is my 20th Mother's Day without her physical presence. It still feels strange to say that she's gone.

On one hand, I find comfort in my memories. The "good, the bad, and the ugly" because they are all there. Like the times we helped her make jam, the times when I wished she was like a "normal" mom, and the time she found out I was using heroin when she had just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

On the other hand, I grieve her absence these past, nearly 20 years, and all I would have loved to share with her. My whole being, physical, emotional, and spiritual, both aches and is numb. I feel it down to my marrow but also feel like I'm floating above my body, as if I'm watching a movie. Something surreal and intangible yet so deeply personal.

The relationship between a mother and a daughter is an archetypal bond, a deep, instinctual pattern in the psyche which shapes how we see ourselves and the world (Jung, Hillman). A bond which transcends time, space, cultures, and consciousness. It's a bond that really needs no defining, yet can't be put into words.

Thanks for the Memories

September 1979.

My mother walks into my room and it’s early in the morning. “It must be Saturday,” I think. She wakes up my sister and me. I am barely able to finish a yawn, still dressed in my pajamas, and we are off to got to work with her. I always love it when I get to wear my pajamas outside of the house. It is so much fun! I step outside in the darkness before dawn and draw in my first breath; the cool, crisp morning air fills my lungs. It is refreshing, startling, painful, and invigorating. The streetlights sparkle; the leaves rustle in the breeze, and swirl like partners dancing towards the starry sky. It is always peacefully silent, a vast difference to the chaos of my daily life and the loud inner, insecure voices that do not give me much reprieve.

We climb into the back of the van and begin our route. The route takes us up and into the hills of Boston, NY. The movement of the van as it turns, rocks, and sways through the hills hypnotize us. My sister and I laugh as we are swung from side to side. We tie the newspapers together in bundles as we roll around the back of the van. Occasionally, I take my hands and bring them to my face and take in a deep breath. There is something about the distinct smell of the newspapers that I love. Every so often the van shimmies and shakes. I ask my mother, “What is going on?” My mother replies, “Well the van is so happy it is dancing!” We continue as the sun began to rise and the dark skies morph into hues of orange, yellow, and blue. The entire experience is pure magic for me and I am under its spell. - journal entry, 2013.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mother was a force of nature. A force to be reckoned with. She did things her own way and stood strong in them. She was funny, kind, compassionate, and loving. She was also a pain in the ass.

That's the thing with mothers. For so long, I dreaded the thought of growing up to be like her. I bet many of us as young women felt that way. Nowadays, I strive to be like her. Being who I am, unapologetically. Enjoying life and the curves it throws. Indelibly etching my mark in this world, as she did on the hearts of anyone that knew her.

Whatever this day is for you, however it shows up in your life, may it be a way for you to dive deeper into connection with yourself and those in your life.

Happy Mother's Day.

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