What does it mean to be created through the scars of a (m)other? And what does it mean to be made new—to be recreated—by them?
It is my first Easter without my mother. My sister Jody reminded me of how much my mother loved religious holidays, especially Easter. One of my striking last moments with my mother was in the hospital operating room when the nurse was preparing her for a surgical procedure. As the nurse opened up the back of the hospital gown, she exclaimed: “What beautiful markings you have.” She was referring to the scars on my mother’s back from a previous heart surgery. “It’s like a work of art.” My mother never viewed them like that. Instead, she often kept her multiple scars hidden from us. But there were moments, as a young girl, when I would glimpse them, those in the front between the buttons of her tightly starched blouses, and those on her back when she’d be ironing her Sunday dress in her satin slip. I was both intrigued and scared by these tracks on my mother’s body, just as I was by the ticking of her mechanical heart valve that I could hear when I stood next to her, the traffic in the house at a standstill. Both were reminders to us that her life was sustained yet fragile.
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