Fragments of the Past Haibun

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

~ Dr Seuss

Used with kind permission of Ese at Ese's Voice

Used with kind permission of Ese at Ese’s Voice

We leave traces of ourselves for the future to discover, to know us from the fragments. My mother left me her diamond ring, her sewing machine, a scarf from Paris, her bible and a memory of love. Her love provided my place in the world, surrounding me with a sense of safety so deep I took it completely for granted. I had slid into place in her love with a click that still rings in my ears. I didn’t even realize what I had until it was gone, leaving its place in my heart empty, like an underground cave echoing the booming of the sea. When I lost her, my father created a new place for me in a new family, and I appreciate his doing that, but I never regained that deep sense of security or felt the click as I slid into my place.

I have tried to recreate that security for my family. For my kids, my man and myself. I hope they take their love and safety for granted, because then I know I’m succeeding. In my turn, I will leave my mother’s diamond and her sewing machine, with which I sewed their baby blankets. Perhaps I will leave some other fragments which are mine alone, not least my love. I am me, and she is me. Perhaps my words will linger.

one or two jewels
our connection to the past
left for the future

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by Haibun Thinking Week 6, the Seuss prompt in honor of his upcoming birthday and Ese’s Voice’s haibun picture prompt.

65 thoughts on “Fragments of the Past Haibun

  1. This is an extra special haibun, with the sewing machine as a superb emotional metaphor sewing it all together. This is what haibun writing is all about for me, though this is so original. But what philosophy. Wonderful.

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  2. This is beautiful Brenda, we all hope to be connected and we hope that the past stays with us especially those precious memories and things which have such sentimental value to us. I was moved by your writing.

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  3. This was something you shared with me before. There were new thoughts and new details included. I know you have left a wonderful legacy, already, with your children. You will have years more to build and make it even more meaningful. I cannot imagine losing a mother at such a young age. Glad that you have some feelings of love and yet, sad that there was a big hole in your life. She left you with what she could in such a short time together. Love, Robin

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    • Robin, Yes, she did her best, and I remember her with great fondness. Thanks for your comforting words and sensible outlook. I’ve comforted many daughters in my day: I know that pain. There are a lot of us. Peace and Joy, Brenda

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  4. Brenda, I don’t know what physical components of my life will be left around for my daughter and granddaughter to look thru and say I want this or that, and I have made no designations of such disposal of my things. It will be take as you choose. But 1 thing I know I am leaving is memories. and stories, and laughs. Since becoming ill and beginning my blog, I now write for them. Many of the stories I tell on myself were written purely for their laughter and enjoyment years after I am gone, What your doing for your kids is wonderful beyond my simple words. Continue they will have you forever. Take care, Bill

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    • Yes, I write for them, too. I may not live to see my grandchildren, but I will leave them stories and imagine them hearing their parents reading them. That idea is precious to me. 🙂 Cheers, Brenda

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  5. I have too many voids. But I would like to think that they have been partially filled by other loves.
    Things are things… but the words…I can only hope they will be read. Yours and mine.

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    • Jules, I’m not sure I fully understand your comment, a lot of detail is missing, but I see that you relate to what I wrote. And I’m glad. I hope our words will be read also. Warmly, Brenda

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    • So much good stuff there in Seussland. I love his story: I Can Lick 50 Tigers. I read it to my daughter last night, first time ever for both of us. I love that you can just go ahead and read it to your kids without vetting it first for appropriateness, so much of what is published today is not reliable like that.

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    • Yes, our intentions matter as much as our actual behavior. Some times things don’t go right, but what we intended is the important part. What an excellent point! You are a philosopher!

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  6. These fragments and our words are so important. They do linger; as we are discovering as our archaeologists work through the rubble of our city. Everything they find, no matter in what condition, is a jewel, a connection to the past, to families, to relationships.

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  7. This is gorgeous. I love the way you explain a mother’s love which is, for the most part, very true.

    Heirlooms in no matter what form, are absolutely priceless. Thank you for taking part 🙂

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    • Yes, they can take any form, from wisp of fabric to heavy machine, and did in my case. And the photos, I forgot to mention the photos… Dads are magic, too, but a different magic. Moms, well, they are part of the primal part of you.

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      • It depends on the mother really. When my kids mother left me, she left the kids as well. She sees them every fortnight until my youngest is 16 and then they have the choice. They have already said that they will see her as little as possible. 😦 So I try to give them what a mother should

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        • Oh, Al, I didn’t know, big hugs!! You are right, the magic isn’t always there. When I had my two small boys, I was always so happy. My then neighbor across the street got pregnant and was so worried. I told her I fell in love when I looked in my baby’s eyes. Then she came over after hers was born and asked me when does that happen. I said it happened right away for me. She said it hadn’t happened for her. Her baby was 6 months old. She said she felt trapped and oppressed. I felt so sad for her. She was a good person, so joyful before she had a baby. She couldn’t know. She wanted to feel that way, but it didn’t happen for her. I don’t think you can make it happen. It’s so much easier to feel zen about things like that if you can feel compassion. I’m sure she was scared and disappointed, but we are who we are. We don’t get to choose. I’m sure you give your kids what they need. You have a huge heart full of beauty and love for the world. Hugs, Brenda

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  8. What wonderful whispers you have set on the wind…
    even in sadness you have graced the energy with the beautiful
    side of your mom and her memory…an extraordinary gift you have been given
    and you in turn share it with grace….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

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    • My mother definitely knew how to love, in a generous and embracing way, with a heaping side dish of joy. Maryrose, you leave such beautiful footprints behind where you visit. I’m blessed that spend some time on me so often. Hugs, Brenda

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  9. I like that, Today you are you – we should always be true to who we are and never be someone we are not, only leads to a lot of pain to do otherwise. And it’s an easy one to remember that one. I like Dr Seuss! 🙂

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    • He wrote very insightful things. I think his Lorax influenced a whole generation to be more environmentally aware. I sometimes wonder if recycling grew with the effort of people like him. I hope you will be you. 🙂

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    • They are proud of me. They like best when I mention them of course. LOL I hope to make them feel they can do anything at all, they don’t have to be a number in a corporation that decides exactly how little it can pay and still retain staff and then fires them at age 50 because they are too expensive.

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  10. awww Brenda, this brought tears to my eyes. Being a mother is something we really work hard towards and we just want them to know they are loved. Beautiful!!!

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      • On some days I feel like I go good as a mom…other days, not so much. lol I give them all I know from my heart and just hope I am doing something right. I never thought I would be a mom so when it happened, I was so in awe of how magical it truly is.

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        • I felt that click with my kids, just an instant tug of my heart. Your kids will have good days and bad ones, and your example of how to deal with the bad is important, too. Art, words, beauty, philosophy, love, what more is there to give? Hugs, Brenda

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