My mother trusted that i would live a life of peace after she left this earth. She would always say that i should mourn her death not even for one day; and that the atmosphere i elicit must be one of contentment and joy no more or less than what i had during our time together. I must carry on as if she were still here, talking with her as if i could still see her, so as not to grieve her absence.

"Ania," my mother would say. "When the day comes that you have children of your own, teach them, comfort them, and love them just as i have done for you."

My mother thought highly of herself as a parent , yet her soul was humble and patient and kind. Even as wonderful as her spirit was, even though every bit of love within her was poured out to others, my mother still trusted that i would amount to more than her. It seemed impossible. To have the weight of somehow having to become more than what my mother was. How could one person be more patient, more gentle, and even more self-less than she was?

I have so many memories of her that it becomes overwhelming at times. She would sing softly as she brushed out my long hair and pulled it into a single braid, tying the end with her own hair ribbon and letting her long, dark locks fall over her eyes. . My mother was beautiful. She wasn't very tall but she was thin and pale. You might have thought she wasn't feeling well if it weren't for her constant smiling and laughing and keeping herself busy. She was always so joyful, she appreciated the small patches of godlight found throughout the day. I never saw her cry, not until the day god took her from me.

It was a beautiful early afternoon, i was still in my nightgown walking sleepily through the cabin my mother and i lived together in. It was only a bit chilly but the sunlight spilled through our delicate lace curtains and onto the wooden floorboards, warming the bottoms of my feet as i walked barefoot. I didn't have much on my mind, i was simply enjoying the time of day while humming quietly to myself. I suddenly stopped moving when i heard quiet sobbing coming from the washroom that was just past the kitchen. The door was slightly ajar and the light was off. I looked inside.

It was dark except for a bit of gray light barely making it through the heavy curtains on either side of the mirror. My mother sat on the edge of the tub, her elbows on her knees, head in her hands, sobbing. She wasn't wearing her gown. My heart stopped when i saw her. She looked ill. I had never been able to see how small and fragile her body was, she always wore loose gowns and robes, which never hugged her form in any way. But now...seeing her without clothing, she looked like a completely different person. her shoulders stuck out like wings, her collarbones and hip bones jutted out and i could see between her ribs. Her chest was flat and her knees looked too large and heavy for her legs. She was pale, but the bit of light in the room made her look ashy and weak, and added a gray tint to her skin.

"Mama..." Her head snapped up, her eyes looked straight into mine. Her dark hair and eyes suddenly scared me. I didn't know what to do, i was about to turn and close and door when she suddenly smiled at me. Her normal, beautiful smile.

"Come closer, love. I don't wish to hide myself from you." She extended her hand and after about ten seconds i took it and sat on the floor beside her.

"Mother! What is this? Are you ill? I didn't realize..." I began to cry. I was terrified by the sight of my mother, heartbroken by how weak she looked. My mother, the strong, glowing, joyful woman i had always known suddenly looked much too weak to stand on her own.
"I don't understand..." She ignored my questioning and took my face in both hands and spoke gently.

"Ania..." Her eyes filled with tears once again. "When the day comes and you bear must treasure every moment with them. Every moment. Don't let one slip away. If you do, you will miss terribly something you never even had. When your daughter comes before you with tears on her face, fold her in your arms and sing to her until she forgets whatever it is she was worried about. When she does wrong, teach her to do right, and do so with patience and love in your voice. And don't...for heaven's sake do not wait for her to mature into a grown woman before establishing the bond that you and i have."

A tear slid down my mothers cheek and she whispered " may find one day that you've run out of time."

I remember at that moment feeling as though my heart had been ripped from my chest. I choked on my breath and more tears flowed. It is a difficult, painful thing to describe, but in that moment we both knew that something in my mothers body had gone terribly wrong and she had fallen ill. We knew that her time was ending, and it was the most real feeling ever, yet it was blurry. I remember just sobbing in her arms. No more words, only tears. There was nothing left to say. I already knew how great her love for me was.

At some point, she asked me to help her to bed, so i did and i lied down next to her.
" I love you, Ania. And i trust you." She closed her eyes. I sang to her, the way she had always sung to me for as long as i could remember. I sang and i talked and i held her hand until her chest stopped rising and falling. I had been waiting for it to happen but when it did i fell apart. I sobbed so hard that i struggled to catch my breath. I couldn't think, i couldn't feel, i just let the tears flow. After countless times of my mother telling me not to grieve after her passing, i let myself shatter into a million pieces.

My mother trusted me to live a life of peace after her passing, but in the end, i didn't know how.