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amazing grace

May 13, 2009

my mother loved the song “amazing grace,” but she had a lifelong aversion to the inclusion of the word “wretch.” every time we attended various church services together and this song was played, she would always change the word wretch to angel or soul, or something similar.

when i put my mother in the ground 11 years ago, a mere three short weeks after my baby brother was killed, i hired a local calligraphy artist to hand-letter the words of “amazing grace” onto a gorgeous piece of paper. the paper was in my mother’s favorite color and the ink was a slightly darker shade than the paper. before we closed the casket for the last time, i put this piece of paper in my mother’s hands, kissed her for infinity, and walked on.

every year, i hire the same calligraphy artist to reproduce this same “amazing grace” work for me, and every year i have a driver head down south to santa cruz, where my mother is buried, and place the paper on her grave. seeing her grave hurts me too much, and makes me cry too much; nevertheless, i do make the flight (northeast to california) every other year to visit mother.

the song below makes me weep. those beautiful faces of those lovely people remind me of my mother and all the pain she suffered. i take some solace in knowing that if she had conquered her demons, she too might have been on this commercial, smiling and happy, and for once she’d be able to see.

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