How long do you wear a Black Ribbon?
It is customary to wear the ribbon all seven days of shiva, except during Shabbat (Sabbath) and festival days. Some people wear it for the first 30 days of mourning (Shloshim).
Today will be the first day I will not be wearing my black ribbon. Jewish tradition includes the placing up a black ribbon on the mourner, and it is ripped as the funeral director has you repeat a pray in memory of the deceased, in this instance, my mother. I wore my pin religious (literally speaking) to keep my mom just one inch closer to my heart. I will miss wearing the button because it was like taking my mother with me wherever I went.
For those of you reading this blog today you may be thinking, it wasn’t the ribbon keeping my mother close; it was my memories and the love in my heart. Although I agree and know that is true, I don’t want those memories to fade or lose that love that is so warming. I’ve already shared I fought so hard to find this connection with my mother, it’s not something I want to lose. This feeling has opened me up to accept other people more freely than I have in the past. I never saw myself as standoffish or a snob, but I now see myself more encompassing and welcoming.
I once heard my brother call my mother a bigot, however, she wasn’t. At times, she may come across as one because she repeated what she heard on the news or within her circle of conversations. On a large scale, my mother loved meeting new people and helping people. My mom volunteered at one of the local hospitals weekly knitting caps for crack babies. But that was not enough for her. She also was a surrogate baby holder. Mom would tenderly hold these babies that were addicted; they were all shapes, sizes, colors, and yet to my mother they were babies needing love. A bigot would not do that. However, within her circles, my mother had a colorful language, and you might want to draw your conclusion unless you knew her.
My mother (like many other mothers) only wanted the best for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and those she held dear, too many to count. D’Vasha did not hold back and if she thought you should or should not do something she was the first and the last person to tell you so. However, she was never upset with you if you chose not to! In fact, if you made a mistake she would say, learn from it, move on. As a seamstress and knitter, she made plenty of mistakes, and she would rip out the stitches and start over again. Even when mom baked, and very few recipes came out poorly if they did she would say, well next time I won’t make the same mistake!
The lessons my mother taught me might not be unique but they are important to keep close, so I too can be the best mom, wife, sister, friend, and person. Today I will not be wearing that black button, but I will be carrying my mother close inside me as I have been carrying my father with me since February 3, 2004. Keeping them close reminds me that love is in the air and IMPOSSIBLE = I’MPOSSIBLE.