Tonight, as I edited photographs from the last couple of days, I kept going back, time and again, to the same one. It was like a hundred more I have taken over the years, with the same shapes and textures, but this time, I saw it in a different light. I developed the photograph in black and white which brought out each line and crease, each flaw and each vein. It showed that, although in color, it is nearly perfect, in a pure form, without distractions, my mother’s Bleeding Heart is imperfect and scarred. My mind began to wander back in time and the years melted away as I saw my mother in a way I can’t ever remember seeing her… as the imperfect jewel that she is. How her heart must have broken when mine did… How she, like Mary, must have treasured a lot of things up in her heart. She hid her hurt, cried when no one could see, and did what needed to be done, whatever it might be. She cooked and cleaned and did all the motherly things that moms do, but her love is what made home a place I wanted to go. Knowing she was there was like a balm to a burn… a kind of soothing that comes from a cool cloth on my head… there were special birthday dinners, roller skates, Journey records, leg warmers, ballgames, a huge Andy Gibb poster, a phone in my room, food in the fridge, clean clothes in the closet and a million other things that I took for granted… of course there were disagreements, tears, tantrums, hurt feelings, arguments and, my own signature contribution, plenty of stomping and slamming doors… but when all was said and done, I was me and she was my mom, always ready to run to me if I needed her… Looking back, I see what I’ve known all along… that her heart is beautiful… and so is she.