Mother's Day 1999
by Anitra L. Freeman
This is the first Mother's Day of my life
when I know where both my sons are.
In 1970, going down for the umpteenth time
in a sea that didn't have a name yet
I flung a newborn child to the shore
before that black current carried me away again.
In 1984 my marriage was going down
in the fog-bound sea that still didn't have a name.
I let my five-year old be carried off in the rescue boat
with my still-confused husband.
We visited over the years,
but Sean grew tired of stubbing his toes in the dark,
became afraid of the fog.
He hasn't talked to me since 1994.
In 1999 my oldest son, the one flung to shore, found me again.
He is well.
In the land that made dysfunctional famous, he found a working family.
My fogbound ocean with the raging tidal waves and deep black current
has a name -- the Bipolar Sea -- and I have a new rescue boat
of my own, called Lithium.
He has lived safe and dry and far inshore.
Will he ever know how glad I was to hear
he is not bipolar?
One dinner, a hug, a few emails back and forth --
He has talked to Sean
and relays the news
that Sean is in the Navy
repairing radios like his father did
and studying computers
like his father, and his mother.
Sean hasn't written
but he says Hi through David.
I've seem him on the Web.
I recently heard Dr. Joseph Lowry say
to 700 homeless advocates
that for social justice in this country
we need a rebirth of spiritituality.
I have mixed feelings.
Proselytizing is no part of my faith.
But I know
the certainty that Someone
waited for me beyond that Fog;
the certainty that loving ground was there below the black and raging sea
helped bring me here;
and now I know
as strange and tenuous as the blood-bond may sometimes be,
Mother's Day will always mean something special.