When I was a very small child, my older brother used to call me Bow. When my mother combed my hair, I would cry and she would hold me between her knees, she had the strongest knees in the world. When the combing was over, and the ribbon bows attached to the braids, she would kiss me and call me ‘bu-nu-nu-noos’. That is how I got the name Bow. Before he went into Alzheimer’s my brother would from time to time fondly call me Bow. I thought of that with a smile as it brought with it other memories of how I was loved as a child.
The memory which came is one which comes from time to time and holds some unresolved issues. I must have been four or so at the time. My mother had bathed me and dressed me in my ‘good’ clothes and of course adorned my hair with ribbon bows. She then sent me to visit my God Mother who lived about three blocks. We had no blocks in my home town, but that would be the approximate distance. On my way there, I lost control of my bowels. I had not yet gotten to the stage where I could easily control my bodily functions.
My Godmother, who was busy preparing dinner for family, told her oldest daughter to clean me. I was at the stage where I needed help with those things. The daughter refused. So they sent me home with the stuff still enfolded in my pants. I was ashamed. I cried all the way home walking with that funny walk one does when there is stuff in their pants.
My mother asked me why I was crying did something happen. I told her about my ‘accident’. She hugged me and cleaned me. While she was doing so, she showered me with kisses and call me ‘bu-nu-nu-noos’. That is not an English word, but spelt phonetically. Bu-nu-nu-noos, means you are beautiful. You are pleasing to my eyes can be another interpretation.
When I think of the particular incident, I feel some shame for not controlling my body. But then the joyful memory of my mother’s love and acceptance comes, and I know that I was always loved. So today I went here and lit a candle of gratitude.
I smile now as the shame has gone and only the love remains.