It’s a delicious spring Mother’s Day. Brilliant blue sky, a few fluffy clouds, warm sun bakes thru the back of my hiking shirt as I dig yet another bunny grave. My grand-dog generously supplies me with regular carcasses. Is this the third or fourth? Can’t remember. One has disappeared among the roots of my flower bed and I can’t find it. I gingerly dump the contents of the white plastic grocery bag into what turns out to be an inadequately sized hole. This bunny was actually a large rabbit whom the earth will embrace and, in time, leave a set of beautiful bones which I will honor by nestling into a planter. As I daydream about the sacred gardens I will create, it occurs to me that perhaps this is not a Normal Mother’s Day Activity and that perhaps I am not a Normal Mother. 

This thought is not much of a revelatory lightbulb at this point in my life. I cover silken ears with a shovelful of damp earth, scraping clods down around the rabbit’s body. Place a paver over the top and retreat to the garage for a bag of mulch and think about my mother. She’s been gone for several years now and as my relationships with my children do not seem to grow easier with time like I thought they would, I consider that she had a similar experience. We never seemed to be on the same wavelength. She couldn’t be who I needed her to be and I couldn’t for her either, so we missed each other, despite our deep love.

Funny thing about intergenerational trauma. You vow to not repeat the mistakes you saw but have no way of preparing for the ones you don’t see. They sneak up in your blind spot, suddenly too close and painfully familiar, like hot breath on the back of your neck, the way a sweet-looking dog might sneak up, suddenly wolfish, on an unsuspecting bunny. I don’t know if healing is ever done but I suspect not. Intergenerational trauma lodges in patterns and personality, wearing sheep’s clothing.

Still I would give a lot for one more cup of coffee with Mom on her porch swing in the early morning, listening to the birds and noticing what’s blooming in her garden.

Sacred bones laid to rest.