Life is a journey of struggle and blessings

A recent article published in Thrive Global as part of the Weekly Prompt series for Mother’s Day.

Article link

This poem was written for my mother over the span of many years; first as my Valentine’s Day gift in 2001 and culminating with the last couple stanzas for her funeral in 2010. It explains a journey of struggles and blessings and what her life taught me along the way.

A Life Come Full Circle

In your eyes I see the fullness of life;
a gathering of joys, challenges, disappointments
and mostly a life full of richness.

It began in French Morocco, exotic and rough;
learning Arabic at school a must;
"You aren't in your own country."

Your father, a military man,
taught his family honor, love, humility.
Your mother, a teacher, 
taught you manners, love and English.

You eyes in old photos show a life
joyful, honorable, protected;
surrounded by family, servants, Moroccan vistas.

Then war came like a lion 
and ripped apart your life forever
from a life of exotic panoramas,
family love and sheltered, elegant joys.

You came to the States with a husband;
the course was set for a life of challenge.
From a Casablanca wedding -- oh, so romantic, 
a honeymoon in the Atlas -- remember the mud?

In your eyes, somedays, I see the questions,
"What would my life have been
if I had not crossed the Atlantic?"

You accepted the challenge of travel:
Indiana, Ithaca, Minnesota, Pakistan, Iran;
the life of a war bride
based on honor and dignity.

Settling in New Mexico, your life came full circle;
destiny's course, so unpredictable; 
your life in a Moroccan adobe house; 
raising your family in a New Mexican adobe home.

And when your destiny left you, "a war casualty"
alone at 60, you say,
"Thank God he left me in Taos."

In your eyes, somedays I see
sunsets so familiar yet so exotic;
a familiar world that is no longer;
an accepted world that is forever.

Every day your eyes filled with panoramas;
a view never the same, yet so familiar.
Your French Moroccan dream that was,
became an American dream still living.

To your children, headstrong, you pass on 
your wisdom, your language, your way of seeing;
and though it was rough, I hope you'll see in my eyes,
great love and gratitude for all that you are to me.

Je préfère être une poire juteuse qu’un citron pressé.

Je t’aime, Maman.