Ode to a Mother

By Cancer Foundation on May 2 / 2019


Earlier this year, the daughter of a woman facing cancer penned a moving poem about her relationship with her mother, and the struggles they have endured both together and apart. “Ode to a Mother,” is a beautiful tribute, first published in February in the Glebe Report. We are grateful to share it this month in recognition of mother’s day – follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the Glebe Report where it was originally featured (page 31).

Ode to a Mother 

By Anonymous Kakapo 

Mothers are a force of nature. Well, good ones are, anyway. I have a good mother. Nay: I have a wonderful mother. She is, in all senses of the word, amazing. She amazes me day in and day out with her steely refusal to give in to the tragedy and sorrow that has affected her and her loved ones. She holds her head high and denies depression a place in her head and heart. She battles on and on, a soldier through and through.

Not only did my mother battle a deathly illness for many years, but throughout her illness and petrifying diagnosis, she battled for the life of her teenage daughter who was clinically depressed, suicidal and had a severe eating disorder. When she was worn out and her heart was torn, she kept on fighting. When she was sad and her mind half mad, she kept on fighting. When her daughter wanted nothing more than for it all to end, she fought to get her back on the mend.

I am not longer depressed or starving or hurting.
I am now happy and hungry and healing.
But I would not be without my mother.
All this to say, I love you
And thank you
And thank you
And thank you.
I’m currently sitting in a Bridgehead writing this love letter to my mother. I now raise my cappuccino (no lie, people are staring and it’s quite embarrassing) and make a toast to all the incredible mothers who are, in essence, one of the most crucial elements in the lives of their children.

“Here’s to you!”

My Mother 

Who wiped away my tears when
They threw rocks at my face
And called me a head case
Then deemed me a disgrace?
My Mother.

Who was there for me in my time of need?
When the ceiling caved in and I couldn’t breathe?
Who kissed my cheek when no one else would?
Because I was shy and misunderstood?
My Mother.

Who would walk me to school in the midst of winter
When I didn’t feel cool and my confidence withered?
Who held my hand and made me feel bold
As we trekked through snowstorms, shaking with cold?
My Mother.

Who gave me life again and again?
When I only wanted mine to end?
And who baked me fresh bread when I was too thin?
When my ribs were protruding and I was done in?

Who gave herself away
Trying to make me stay?
Who never gave up the fight for my life
When I thought it an endless, pointless strife?

Who kept on giving
Even though she was grieving?
Who sat by my bed
When I wished I was dead?
My Mother.

And who, to this day, knows when I’m hurt?
When I’m saddened? Face down in the dirt?
When I feel like a failure
And I can’t face my haters?

My beautiful
My precious
My dear heart Mother.

—The Anonymous Kakapo

Read the Glebe Report

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