Back Burner

I have a few things simmering on back burners in my life.  The heat is low, no kettle whistle or rattling vent.  When I say “back burner” here, I am thinking of things in my life that I need to confront or handle in some way.  I don’t always know that those things are on the back burner until something/ someone triggers me. 

Several weeks ago, I was messaging a new mom about the beautiful pictures she had been posting of her baby and began a conversation with her as a breastfeeding advocate.  Before I knew it, somehow or another I mentioned that my first baby had died.  She thanked me for the support and said she was sorry about my “angel baby.” 

“Angel baby?” That was a trigger. 

I had never heard the term “angel baby” before then.  If I had heard it, it did not resonate with me before that moment.  “Angel baby” kept ringing in my head for weeks.  It felt like one of the pots from my back burner was pushed to the front, now sitting on high flame, and fiercely boiling to the point where I had to tend to it. 

I realized in that moment that I had all kinds of lively stories and had written poems, many poems for all my children except for my “angel baby” who had so wonderfully blessed my life in four short months before passing away.  

With the baby dying and toxins leaking into my system and no signs of labor, I could have died had a dear friend not insisted and rushed me to the hospital one Sunday afternoon. It was a troubled pregnancy with bed rest, illness, uncertainty, and a resulting death surrounded by a very young marriage without the tools for healthy grieving.  There were numerous reasons why I would not right about this, my “angel baby…”  If she had grown to full term and been a live birth, she would have been 31 years old this week. 

This morning, 32 years later, I lifted the lid of that boiling pot.  I inhaled the steam and stirred it, seasoned it with my tears, and sipped from the memories. I my angel baby a poem. I have finally honored with gratitude for the gift that she was and still is to me. I feel relieved, lighter, brighter, joyous, and ready for Mother’s Day, ready to tackle more challenges that have been simmering on those back burners. 

This post is to encourage you to check the back of the stove, see what is slow-cooking and patiently waiting for your attention. Are you afraid of being burned? It may not be as dark and dreary and scary and tiresome and worrisome and convoluted and… as you think. 

Are you ready to take it off the back burner? 

As always, 

Be joyful, 

Be creative, 

Be inspired, 

Tamara 

P.S.  Many thanks to Whitly Charles who inspired this post and blessed me with the words, "angel baby." You can find her graphic art and design at Creative Crucian.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas, auntie mamas, grandmamas and mama supporters out there whether you have your babies with you physically or not!  If you like what you read, share, and bless the blog with your response!

13 comments

  • LsVerne
    LsVerne Washington
    Thanks so much Ms. Tamara. I have an Angel Baby as well. Angel Baby would be 60 now. Your words have given me license to take Angel off the back burner and create story and song and dance; my lamentation. Thanks so very much.

    Thanks so much Ms. Tamara. I have an Angel Baby as well. Angel Baby would be 60 now. Your words have given me license to take Angel off the back burner and create story and song and dance; my lamentation. Thanks so very much.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    You are so welcome, LaVerne. I am glad I could be an inspiration! You were with me when I had that "angel baby." Happiest of Mother's Days to you, loved one!

    You are so welcome, LaVerne. I am glad I could be an inspiration! You were with me when I had that "angel baby." Happiest of Mother's Days to you, loved one!

  • Whitly
    Whitly Orlando
    Tamara, this is a beautiful piece and has brought me to tears. I'm glad that I was able to resonate with you during our conversation. Angel babies matter too. Happy early mother's day.

    Tamara, this is a beautiful piece and has brought me to tears. I'm glad that I was able to resonate with you during our conversation. Angel babies matter too. Happy early mother's day.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    Whitly, thank you for this unexpected gift that blossomed into such a beautiful flower weeks later. This has been a long time coming. I am grateful! Happy mother's day to you too!

    Whitly, thank you for this unexpected gift that blossomed into such a beautiful flower weeks later. This has been a long time coming. I am grateful! Happy mother's day to you too!

  • Noni Ervin
    Noni Ervin Greater Seattle Area
    Your story is healing. 🌹🌹 Thank you for sharing.

    Your story is healing. 🌹🌹 Thank you for sharing.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    Thank you, Noni, for responding and blessing the blog. I am grateful for the words of wisdom that helped me to heal.

    Thank you, Noni, for responding and blessing the blog. I am grateful for the words of wisdom that helped me to heal.

  • Angalifu
    Angalifu Decatur, Jaw~JUH
    Hey Queen! It's always a Joy witnessing your Scribble! Angel Baby brought to mind a Child who would have been my 1st~Born, had the Lady carrying Her\Him chose differently than what she did!! Perhaps this bee'ZZZ a Topic on my Back Burner deserving some Attention, thank You for reminding a Brotha! Oh, and if eYe don't see You before Sunday, Happy Mom's Day! 🔔🔔🙃🎬💜🔥💜

    Hey Queen!
    It's always a Joy witnessing your Scribble! Angel Baby brought to mind a Child who would have been my 1st~Born, had the Lady carrying Her\Him chose differently than what she did!! Perhaps this bee'ZZZ a Topic on my Back Burner deserving some Attention, thank You for reminding a Brotha!
    Oh, and if eYe don't see You before Sunday, Happy Mom's Day! 🔔🔔🙃🎬💜🔥💜

  • MORANI S.A. BONNER
    MORANI S.A. BONNER Atlanta, GA
    Tamara, .........I have....two Angel Babies....both from when I was young... .......I think about them sometimes. I've known of people who have actually met their Angel Babies either through the parent dying and then being resscitated by doctors...or the parent having a very young child who frequently had conversations with their "dead" unborn sibling who visited them during play. One such friend I had to chase through the halls of the building we were in to catch and console through her torrential tears. I wonder if I will meet my Angel Babies too. In addition to that...metaphorically speaking...there are moments and segments of my life...and even parts of me...which are Angel Babies. I mourn...and love...them also.

    Tamara,
    .........I have....two Angel Babies....both from when I was young...

    .......I think about them sometimes.
    I've known of people who have actually met their Angel Babies either through the parent dying and then being resscitated by doctors...or the parent having a very young child who frequently had conversations with their "dead" unborn sibling who visited them during play. One such friend I had to chase through the halls of the building we were in to catch and console through her torrential tears.
    I wonder if I will meet my Angel Babies too.

    In addition to that...metaphorically speaking...there are moments and segments of my life...and even parts of me...which are Angel Babies.
    I mourn...and love...them also.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    Angalifu and Morani, thank you so much for stopping by and blessing the blog! Thank you also for supporting me in this work and for the work that you do. May we all continue to move forward in wisdom, love, and courage!

    Angalifu and Morani, thank you so much for stopping by and blessing the blog! Thank you also for supporting me in this work and for the work that you do. May we all continue to move forward in wisdom, love, and courage!

  • Susan Lilley
    Susan Lilley Florida
    Thank you for this, Tamara. I think making a little piece of art out of even painful memories can bring enormous grace to our lives. But yes, some things need time on that back burner before we can bring them forward. Beautiful piece--and a lesson for me.

    Thank you for this, Tamara. I think making a little piece of art out of even painful memories can bring enormous grace to our lives. But yes, some things need time on that back burner before we can bring them forward. Beautiful piece--and a lesson for me.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    Thank you, Susan, for blessing the blog! I think this is an on-going lesson for all of us for as long as we wish to grow!

    Thank you, Susan, for blessing the blog! I think this is an on-going lesson for all of us for as long as we wish to grow!

  • Chi
    Chi USA
    Thank you for this post 💜. Made me see what I’ve had on the back burner and appreciate allowing time to do what it does, and never force a thing. Asé Asé Asé.

    Thank you for this post 💜. Made me see what I’ve had on the back burner and appreciate allowing time to do what it does, and never force a thing. Asé Asé Asé.

  • Tamara J. Madison
    Tamara J. Madison
    Asé, Chisara! Thank you for blessing the blog!

    Asé, Chisara! Thank you for blessing the blog!

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