The Goddess


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I grew up as a good Catholic girl. In my world, God was man. He was a tall white man with a light brown beard and a white robe.

God was male.

But I’m not a little girl anymore.

Now I am a mother. I saw my own body grow and stretch and bend itself to give life to my three children. That made me wonder if perhaps the true deity was a woman.

I have been lucky enough to watch my daughter become a mother.  I watched her body grow and stretch and bend itself to give life to my grandchildren.  That made me suspect that I was right is seeing the true deity as a woman.

Today I helped my 87 year old mother as she took a shower, washed her hair, got dressed and settled herself into her favorite chair to rest after those efforts.

It wasn’t easy for Mom. She was embarrassed to realize that she needed me to do something as simple as taking a shower.

I need to tell you that my Mom was a power woman. For all of my 61 years of life, my mother has been tough, strong, proud and independent . She was the first feminist in my life. She was my role model.

But today she needed me. She is almost 88 years old. She is recovering from pneumonia. She has difficulties with her memory and her cognition. She is old.

Today she needed me. She didn’t want to need me. She didn’t want to be so frail that she couldn’t bathe herself or dress herself.

But she was.

And she had the strength and the grace to accept that fact. She let me turn on the shower. She let me help her to undress.

“Well” she said, with a smile, “here I am in all my glory.”

And I looked at my mother. Thin, frail, too weak to stand on her own.

And I saw the Goddess.

I saw the body that gave me my life.

I saw the strength and the beauty and the courage that has shaped all of her life.

My beautiful, fragile, goddess Mother.

And now I think I understand.

The deity is a Goddess. The deity is woman.

God or Goddess; the deity is love. It is the desire to share ourselves with others. It is the desire to love and to be loved.

Now I hope that one day I will have the grace and the courage to face my own frailties, and to let my children help when I am no stronger than a baby myself.

 

 

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28 thoughts on “The Goddess

  1. This is exquisitely beautiful and touches my heart so much. I am fortunate enough to have my mother (aged 75) visiting with us for a month, and spending such precious one on one time with her I too realise the magnitude of grace and strength our mothers have. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    • Thank you for reading it, and for your comment. Have a wonderful time with your Mom. This middle aged time of life is so filled with poignancy…new life, old life, our lives. I wish you joy on the journey!

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  2. A very beautiful and powerful post. We women are very fortunate in being able to give, and to hold, and to care for life. Your last point about having the “courage to face [one’s] own frailties” and, in response, to accept help, is especially challenging for mothers, I think. But, yes, it’s in the receiving as well as the giving that grace shows its completion. Thank you for these lovely insights.

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    • Thank you for reading, and for the lovely comment. In my head, I keep thinking, “I’ll never ask for this kind of help!!!” Then I stop myself, because I’m quite positive that my warrior woman of a mother said the very same thing.

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  3. A beautiful, intimate, and courageous story of the love and respect between two women, trust and aging. You are your mother’s daughter. You reminded me with your sensitivity and experience of what I have missed all of these years. Thank you for sharing.

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