Throw Me Thursday: Crush

Ma is leaving us in bit pieces, days are falling from her, names are dissolving into particles she knows she’s tasted, but can’t place. She’s both trying to hide it, and begging us to notice, hinting herself away.

We’ve all felt sorry for ourselves in this, as if she’s doing it to get back at us, as if in our anger or disregard she will be whole instead of becoming transparent. Her hair is so white. Her skin so…

I felt it tonight, felt myself unzip from my sternum to my belly, felt the stuffing and the fluff just puff right out like packing material around a stretched and bloated water balloon the color of cinnamon candies.

Without Ma, my family of origin becomes nothing but a dissipating cloud after a storm. I’m lucky for a couple sisters, several nieces and nephews, but some won’t even notice she’s gone.

And that just pisses me off.

Ma is not a table to be left to you. She’s not a guilty hundred dollar bill stuck inside a card. Ma is not a holiday you call on the phone or a customer at the store you talk to once a week.

She is a mother. She creates worlds, and like it or not, she created 9 of them and let them go on the wind. She bled us out and here we are, screeching idiots too proud to go home.

So, what are we going to do about it? What are you going to do?


Crush was the prompt given by Robin Bernstein on the Penny Jar Facebook page. Thank you, Robin.


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in it's my family anyway, ma, mother, Number 9, relationships, Throw me Thursday, truth and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Throw Me Thursday: Crush

  1. siggiofmaine says:

    This is so heart wrenching and warming at the same time.
    I worked with the aging population for 35 years and you put it so well what so many want to say
    as someone leaves them, little by little.
    For me, perfectly said.
    Thank you for being an advocate for your mother in a world where the aging often go unnoticed.
    Bless you. You are your mother’s daughter, always and forever.
    ā˜® Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • pennyjars says:

      Siggi, I wish I had your patience. Beside the fact that we don’t know how to react, we really just don’t know what to do. It’s just like having that first baby, where to start, what to consider. I appreciate your thoughts.

  2. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece. I am just writing about my Grandmother, who was one of nine children, and can appreciate all your mother gave up to give you all life. Such a poignant piece, this rings with the tale of womankind.

    • pennyjars says:

      Elizabeth, thank you. It amazes me how differently we view the family as the generations change, how it once was so acceptable to have a lot of children and now it’s viewed as such an oddity, even a spectacle in some situations.

  3. The Girl says:

    I really admire the soul-heavy vitriol in this, which I don’t feel like I’ve seen from you before. Soul, yes, but this is demanding. It’s wonderful. Esp. the unzipping bit.

    • pennyjars says:

      Ah, I suspect the memoir will sometimes cut a similar figure. The last thing I want to write is a book of blame, but rather a book of finding. However, passion has it’s own language as does pain and memory. Thanks, J.

  4. Robin says:

    As always, I am thrilled with the way you take a single word and form images that cut to my soul. ā¤

    I removed myself from cyberspace a while back and stopped writing. I'm sincerely grateful and honored that you sought me out. The Universe is gently pushing me back to my writing.

    As always, you inspire me! xoxoxo

  5. Beth Hoffman says:

    This piece is totally amazing! Victoria … rarely do I get goosebumps. I have them now.

  6. Beth Lowe says:

    I’m so sorry about your Ma, about the final dissolution of your family, and the sheer awfulness of it all. And I’m so in awe of the writing, Victoria. The way you describe things is eerily right at that point where anymore would be too much and any less wouldn’t be enough.

    • pennyjars says:

      Thank you, Beth. Of course this is only my perspective, but families should be better to eachother, no? I like being eery, I think I’ll shoot for that point more often. šŸ˜‰

  7. wow. what powerful reading…yes, some think throwing money at MOM takes away the guilt, as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t.

    • pennyjars says:

      Jean, so glad you stopped by! I appreciate your comments here and on the Facebook page. I agree, Ma appreciates that money, but she’d so much rather see a person. I can’t say I blame her one bit.

  8. kario says:

    I watched both of my grandmothers go like this and, for me, it was this desperate race against the grains of sand to gather stories and bits of information to hold close and tuck away for my daughters. Your description of her slowly slipping away was so spot-on that it struck me right in the chest.


    • pennyjars says:

      Oh, Kari, it is hard and confusing. I was told years ago that I was supposed to be writing her stories down, that I was supposed to be the family gatekeeper. I didn’t want the job. Now I have to sweep up after myself. Thank you, as ever.

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