She knew beauty from inside out
flaming life with gentle sparks
When death like cancer found her heart
beauty breathless cried for help.
She died too early for spring’s warmth
beneath the surface broken, hurt
with hopeful lilies by her side
and dreams of color catching light.
Holidays always carry an energy of remembering. This season included table talk with my mother, the heroine, of many sad and ugly tales…her memories of life from a darker side of life. I know few whose life embodies “survival” as hers does.
The tales, however, have left me grieving a heritage of pain. I am most sickened by tales of my middle name. I learned I am the name sake of a Jane who guised humiliation and murder with postures of rescue and embrace. I am that Jane who battled for a baby not mine by stealing from a mother in a court of law, that Jane who arranged a drowning at birth to hide the shame of a holy seed in a less holy womb, that Jane who welcomed only to the basement the lesser ones in the unsanctioned family tree.
I have asked myself this new year, “who am I really?” What does the power of my name speak in the circles of life? What part of this heritage have I carried to daughters and granddaughters? How can I redeem time in my life as Jane?
I will start by saying I prefer the name Lolly.