"Hey Sher bug," I heard her say, using the nickname she gave me when I was young, her voice so close I felt she was lying right next to me on the hardwood floor.
You came back, I answered silently, I knew you would. I wanted to see her face but knew if I opened my eyes she’d be gone.
"I'm here," she continued making me feel comforted, like when I was eight years old, and she was tucking me in under my pale yellow blanket with the satin trim.
Stay, I begged, I’ve missed you so much. Now that she was back, I couldn't bear the thought of losing her again.
“I'm not going anywhere," she said, her voice becoming fainter, "I'll always be with you."
My eyes popped open, startled. I turned my head from side to side to get my bearings, relieved that the others around me were still peacefully lying in corpse pose. Usually, I had trouble settling into Shavasana. My mind preoccupied with getting home to eat lunch within my rigid self designated time frame, counting the seconds until the instructor signaled the end of practice with a namaste so I could bolt out. But on that particular day, despite the hustle and bustle in the hallway outside the mind/body studio, I relaxed so much, my body melted into my mat. My mind becoming unusually quiet. So quiet, I was finally able to hear the voice I'd been so longing for.
In the three months since my mom died, I had desperately tried to reconnect with her, to feel her presence around me. When my grandma had died five years earlier, the connection she and I had in life flowed seamlessly after she passed. I felt her with me always. I couldn't understand why that did not happen with mom too. I often found myself walking to the top of the inactive volcano on which I live, trying to get closer to the sky, hoping she would hear my voice and give me a sign she was out there. I would visit her at the cemetery, talking to her in the marble crypt under the big pine tree. Telling her about my day, the latest town gossip, or funny stories about the boys hoping to hear her laugh. I'd send balloons to the sky with messages of love and wear the little silver bracelet with her name engraved on it from her first communion. Day after day, nothing.
But that day in the yoga studio, out of the blue, she came to me so clearly, her voice so close, I felt I could reach out and touch her. My mom’s presence engulfing my body and making me feel warm, safe, and loved.
Together, lying in the stillness, I felt a desperate need to give back to my mom for all she had given to me. And I knew what she would want. The only thing she so desperately wanted for so many years. The thing I was unable to give to her when she was alive. But I could give it to her now.
For my mom I was willing to try.