On my parents’ wedding day


Inheritance. Something given. Something passed on. Collective, connected by an unbroken line.

My mother was not so forthcoming with her goodness. She was sometimes warm, and cold. Barbed and raw. She struggled to be in life. She was funny. She was very real – unfiltered in her feelings. Being my mother’s daughter was not such an easy task, I was tumbled over and over in the wake of her.

Yet there were moments her fractured spirit stitched into wholeness and she soared. She would put on music, a crackling record turning, and her body would change. The trance of the sound beauty bathed her, her heart opened upward, her chin lifted, she brightened, she sang.

My mother had a beautiful voice.

When she’d sing she effortlessly changed into the star she had never become. She expanded, the pleasure coursing through her. Her story left behind.

I don’t think I inherited my mother’s voice, her on-key notes, her range, her exquisite sound. If I had, it surely would have been part of my becoming.

Instead, the gift she gave to me was rapture. The trancendent, glorifying pleasure of listening. It has served me. It has transported me over and over into a protected place where all is well, where nothing is left out.

And despite everything that happened to her, I know my mother knew that place too. She bathed in its unbroken perfection. She took rest.


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