Monday, June 13, 2011

Mom and Me - April BJP Finished

If you read my April 1st post about Mom, you know she passed away at age 94 this year in March.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, April BJP, detail
I began working on my April BJP while I was in Minnesota, just after she died, for the memorial service and to be with my siblings. Thus the subject for March was a "no-brainer," the intersection between Mom and Me, how our life paths intersect.

As usual, I worked improvisationally, with no plan for how it might turn out. In my other BJP pieces for this year, the two intersecting lines of the X always developed distinctive characteristics, one representing me and the other representing the other force, event or person in my life. For example, it's very clear to me looking at the piece about my husband and me (here), I am the red beads and he is the blue beads.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, April BJP, detail
This piece is different. I can't explain and don't really understand why Mom and I look the same. Is it the strong bond and connection between us? Is it that we are quite a lot alike in many ways? Is it because I've now assumed her role as the matriarch of the family? Is it a visual way of holding onto her, not letting her go, wrapping her into my own identity? Whatever the reasons, in this interpretation of Mom and Me, we are so much the same that I can't tell which line is her and which is me.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, April BJP, Mom and Me
It's been three months since she passed. The raw grief is less now, yet I think of her very, very often. I see a picture of her and catch my breath as it sinks in again that I won't see her in person ever again. Her words and expressions come frequently to my own lips. I miss her in ways I don't know how to express. Life goes on with no mama, in a different, more lonely way.


  1. Beautiful Robin. I can see you were very close. I just lost my Mother may 20th and am still in the raw grief stage, as well as a state of shock. Life will never bee the same.My Mom and I were very different, but still very connected. I love your tribute to her and your relationship. Hugs!! Tracey

  2. Your last sentence says it all...

  3. ... and just to confuss me all the more, I would have said this is the cross that represents you and your higher power and not knowing what comes from within or without!

    Even the circle/spirals seems to be about spirituality.

    The page is beautiful and I love the way the crossed lines merge and seem totally entwined in one another.

    I am pleased that you have passed that awful raw state but my thoughts are with you as you journey through the next stages of grief.

  4. I am so sorry that you ahve lost your Mom- remember that she can never leave you as she is IN you!!! The journey back form such aloss will not bring you back to the place that you were before but to a new place where youa re confindent that she will always be there with you!! Love your beaded pieces. and I am sure that she loves the way that you ahve representd your relationship with her with your beads!!!
    Big hugs!!!!

  5. Robin as usual its stunning! Your mother would be so proud of these beautiful things you create!

    Analisa in Dubai

  6. I love your phrase: "wrapping her into my own identity"... guess that's what we do with those we miss so dearly. You have taken up your mom into your own soul, you are her daughter and though she is not here to tell you that she loves you, she does. I think she is smiling from above and loving the similarity in you life-lines, although they are very distinct.

  7. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Lovely piece depicting two beautiful women. Jane

  8. It will be three years this December that my mother has passed away. I know exactly what you mean when you say life is lonely now. I miss my own mother in ways and intensity that I never thought possible and not a day goes by that I do not see or hear her in the things I do.
    Thinking of you! Lois

  9. I haven't been around enough to know your mom was gone. I think your beadwork and your words go together so well. You will miss her for a long time - forever - but it does get easier. Memories start hurting less and meaning even more than you thought possible. I know my first year's BJP really focused on my dad first and mom second. I didn't realize I needed to work with them but it did seem to help.

  10. I found this so touching... and can understand the intertwining of her and you in the design.

    For so long after my Mom passed in 2004, the thought would hit me hard and unexpectedly that "no... she can't be gone... this is just not right". Not rational, sure, but life just didn't seem "right" without her.

    And gradually, I saw in my imagination that my was life an intricate tapestry... and her threads are woven into every part of my life... I think of them as precious gold and silver threads, interwoven in me.. we could never be "un" woven... sheesh, I miss her so much right now writing this, I am tearing up!

    But... the memories are good now. And I am also smiling.


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!