Women are on my mind these days. My mother, my daughter, my sisters. My friends. Men are on my mind as well. My brothers, my husband, my son. My friends. We are all in this together. In the past few weeks some life changing events have happened both personal and vastly public. I can see photos of masses of women and men gathering around the world to march for human rights. I can see a very personal funeral march to celebrate the end of a life well lived and well loved. I can see events that strike cold fear in my heart, that make me fear for my country, for my children. Another march whose end we cannot yet see.
We buried our Mom the day of the big march. She was 92. To even imagine reaching that age is something I can hardly fathom. She was beautiful to the end. That enigmatic smile that hooked my father so many years ago and convinced him to settle down and raise a family, barely changed with age. We are six from that union and eight more beyond that. To witness the influence of one life in this world is amazing. To witness the influence of millions of the same mind is overwhelming.
My daughter walked in that great march and dedicated that time to her grandmother. A young woman navigating a complex world remembering an old woman who must have felt the same at her age. She was moved by that immense energy, by that positive force of hearts joined for a single cause. A few days later, she had a scary encounter that shook her world and forced her to look again with fresh eyes. Life is constant learning as the world keeps turning.
My sisters. We marched in our own private world locked tightly arm in arm behind our mother’s casket. We are four, each born 5 years apart. We were celebrating our shared sisterhood sprung from one small woman. We turned to each other for comfort, finding common ground while acknowledging we have just as much uncommon ground. Marveling at how our lives can impact time and the world. As do the lives of those we have given birth to.
My brothers marched too. Bearing the weight of that small woman to her final resting place. Bearing the weight of her loss. Our sons are learning the true meaning of strength and honor and love as my mother’s sons have. My son is soon taking a wife. The weight and joy and responsibility of that union has been experienced by his parents and their parents before them. My children have been witness to many of their parent’s lessons. Some of those lessons they welcome. Some they reject. Some have yet to be borne.
Women’s march. Men’s march. Wedding march. Funeral March. Music and soldiers and even ants march. But it is time that leads us forward. Time marches. It is the one march we can never stop and can never see where it will lead. We can only follow it the best that we can. We can march to our own drummer, to our own tune. We can march with someone and we can march against someone. But we can never stop that march of time. 92 and 62 and 32 and more. They are numbers on the scale of life as we go marching on.
Very soon I will be a mother in law. I will have a daughter in law. Another to welcome into my tribe of women, of men. Our lives will begin another march together as the family grows. Children are born and elders die and the world turns round again. This hate and fear we are feeling now will change with the march of time. Our only hope is to hold onto the truest and highest form of ourselves and to grow in that march called life.
I am honored my mother was who she was and the lessons she made me learn about myself just by being herself. And I can turn around and see all of those ripples of her life and people now here that came from that one lovely smile to a young man newly home from a great war and ready to build a life with her. Time marches on even though she has laid down her head. She trusts that we will hold onto the love she has passed over to us. Rest well, Mom. We will carry on the march from here.