by Bonnie Pockley
In lieu of mother’s day, to those women whose gentle nurturing meant more to me than they’ll ever know:
To Danny’s Mum, I can’t remember your name, who brushed my hair ever-so gently in her Paris apartment. You, who treated me like her own and smothered me in kisses – a 14 year old girl away from home and all alone. I will never forget you.
To Ricardo’s Mum – this time in London – again, away from home. You with your Latin American love, your black bean soup and sweet honeyed tea. I was 15, and you were a goddess to me.
To Nannie Fredrikson, in Sweden as a student. You who took me in, fed me and said that, as a matter-of-fact, I was beautiful. You who had more courage and more strength than I had ever seen. When I met you, you were wheelchair bound. Today you are walking. You made me believe that anything was possible.
To my grandmothers whose love and generosity were exceeding. You who played warfare with me in the river in winter, you who would draw with me in the park under the trees.
And of course, to my mother. For everything you are and have been. You who would also thank each of these women for being there for me, in your absence.
To the women whose gentle nurturing meant more to me than they’ll ever know and whose tenderness has been imparted to me – I brush my daughter’s hair, tell her she’s beautiful, smother her in kisses and hope that one day, when she’s alone and away from home, another mother takes her in her arms and makes her up a big cup of sweet honeyed tea.