Monday, October 24, 2005


My mother's hands have always meant the world to me.

There are some aspects of this environment that make me feel particularly infantile -- those urges to curl up in some fetal ball of homesickness when my body hurts or when it seems there isn't anyone in whom I can "appropriately" confide about challenges and gripes. I seldom or never notice the ache of something missing until circumstances make me feel that way.

I went to get my hair cut yesterday.

When I was very young, Mom used to wash my hair in the kitchen sink. I loved the feeling because she got the water nozzle right up close to my forehead but used her extra hand to protect my eyes from the spray. She cared for my hair long before I knew how to do it, and the experience set a standard in my mind that I would strive to meet for the rest of my life.

Later Mom also cut my hair on occasion during my high school years. I loved just being close to her, hands shaping the look of my hair, working magic with the scissors for an hour or so... There is something about that kind of touch -- pure, firm, comforting, and reassuring.

I never expected homesickness for that specific type of feeling to flood back into my mind, but when I went to the salon yesterday I felt my mother there with me -- through the hands of a beautiful woman named Juanita -- across more than 8,000 miles. Juanita gave me a manicure and cut and styled my hair. She matter-of-factly told me 'it will be okay' when my cuticle was screaming with pain, and she firmly worked magic through my hair with the scissors. Something about her touch was my mother for two hours, and it was good.


At 10/24/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger Mary Godwin said...

Oh, Tommi, I miss you so much. The days drag on now as the time for your return draws near. Isn't that funny ... how they slow down? I can hear so much of you in the writing you've posted here, and the best part for me is that there's nothing of the "uniform" in the music of these words, nothing of the uniform that took you away from your home and your family.

I'm glad for the hands that carried you to other times and other places today. Warm smiles and gratitude to Juanita from me... -mom

At 10/25/2005 10:56 PM, Blogger James said...

Tommi....tommi, tommi, tommi. I miss you lots. Thanks for being there for me the one night on messenger. I know you didn't have a lot of time, but it was good to know that you were "there".

NOTE: If you come home (WHEN you come home) and they try and take you back, I'm NOT LETTING THEM! There's a half-chuckle at the end of that sentence, but really, we all know something's missing around here, and it's you.

"They" say, "home is where the heart is". And baby girl, you're a damned big portion of that heart. And we want it back.

Waiting for you to come home,


At 10/28/2005 6:13 AM, Anonymous jim pickles said...

Hey Tommi....know your in our prayers...glad your getting short. Just for fun your one of the finest people I've ever met,has been nice getting to know the side of you that writes. Hang in there LT. Would like to hear some "rockin" song writin when u get home. Jim Pickles

At 11/18/2005 7:15 AM, Anonymous Winston said...

Tommi, I just read your Mom's post "When Only Weeks Remain". Very powerful and touching words and feelings there. Chin up, hang tight. Our thoughts are with you until your safe return home.


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