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Happy Birthday to my Mother

Today my mother was born, Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza. She was fierce and bold, fierce in her devotion to her Gods, wise beyond words, and she was the miracle presence that transformed my life. Every year when her birthday comes around I always want to write something beautiful and profound, something that would give some indication of how important this small, bird-like Swiss woman was in my life and every year I fail. I sit down at the keyboard and all I can think is “she’s gone” and all the ancestor practices in the world won’t bring her back. Oh make no mistake, the ancestor work keeps me in contact with her and it’s lovely but it’s not having her here in the flesh and I miss her every day. In many respects I think she took part of me with her when she died and I’m only now finding my way back to the living.

I have reams of letters from her, huge binders that I keep carefully secured in a duffle. I sometimes think I should post some of them, share the beauty of her mind and soul with others but I haven’t been able to bring myself yet to read through them all again. In time, it will come. In the meantime, I give her offerings of flowers. She loved flowers, and made a point to buy organic ones. She loved pink but had some clothing taboos from her Gods and so was very rarely permitted to wear it. She was sensitive to color and it would nourish her quite a bit. Her home was bright and airy, milky whites, sweet, muted yellows, and a stone hearth that was her household shrine. It was a holy place for me and I grew up there in so many ways.

She loved her gods fiercely. Those are the words that I think she would want as an epitaph and they are true and her devotion fired others in theirs. I wish to carry her legacy on, never, ever giving up on my service and commitment to my Gods (and after her death it was close). That is the legacy she has left me, never giving up on my devotion to the Gods. It’s the thing she would, I think, want me to emphasize the most about her: first, last, and always, she loved her Gods.

Now, I’m going to stop typing and go out and get her some flowers.