Interlude Chapter: Confessions on my Mother

“I pray for you every single day,” my Mom said softly.

I was 12-years-old and a depressed and balled up mess that was still reeling from the fearful and pulverizing kidney rejection news. I could not accept that I may lose these kidneys after waiting what felt like a lifetime for them. My dark hair resembled a tangled bird’s nest. My eyes were empty, vacant, and yet raw from crying too much. I tucked myself in fetal position even further in the hospital bed, and pressed the phone hard against my right ear to make-believe that my Mom was right there in the hospital room with me. Hearing my Mom’s voice over the crackled telephone line, I swallowed hard and tears spilled down my face. My IV pole skittered across the floos in response to my abrupt movement to hold on to the phone tightly like some lifeline.

I opened my mouth to ask my Mom if maybe she would visit me in the hospital. So far, she phoned me almost every single day to see how I was managing and if my kidneys were improving at all, but she had not visited me when I received my second kidney transplant and when I was recovering. Maybe it would take this kidney rejection for her to see me face-to-face. My stomach ached and hurt when I thought about seeing my Mom face-to-face again.

The last clear image I had of my Mother was when I last saw her at 10-or-11-years-old. That was before I received my second kidney transplant and just a couple years after she left my Dad, older sister, and me. I remember that she was hurting my fingers with her clenched grip as she said that we had to pray and I had to have Church friends or I was going to go to hell. I remember how scared I was.  The last vaguely happy memory I had of my Mom was when I was 9-years-old—just a little after my parents divorced and before she turned fanatically religious. We were at the Circus and she bought me this blue flashlight with a tiger head on the top that spun around in glee. As I was mesmerized with the spinning tiger head, she said to me: “When you hold it and see it, you will think of me and our happy time together here at the circus.” I could still feel her arms around me as she pointed up above to the elephants parading around with their trunks swinging back and forth or when her hands wrapped around mine and we spun the tiger flashlight together.

I was brought back to being back in the hospital again. If my Mom were to see me here in this hospital bed, would she think I was a failure that I was about to lose these kidneys and myself? Would she grip on to my hands all over again to pray, pray, and pray some more or would just maybe just tuck herself in the bed with me like she did when I was a little girl and when she called me “Bao Bai,” meaning “Little Treasure” in Chinese? The words to ask if she was going visit me in the hospital played in my mind and tickled on my lips, but I could not muster the words together in a greater fear that she was going to say that she could not see me.

My Mom continued on over the phone, “I think about you and I pray for you all the time. We have to know that God is listening to us. We will pray over the phone again.”

My stomach turned. When my Mom called, she always ended our conversations with a prayer in Chinese that I barely understood. I was scared when she started to pray in Chinese because she spoke with such passion bordering on fury. Her voice shook and then she choked up and started to cry. I was grateful whenever my Mom said: “Amen,” because that is when I knew the prayer was over with.

This time, when she finished praying, I cut in with a strangled out and small voice to ask: “Are you going to maybe come visit me?”

There was a long pause over the phone and my Mom said slowly in her broken English and strong Chinese accent as she struggled with the words, “Bao Bai, you know how much I love you, right? We do what we can. I can’t visit you now because of something with my health.”

Alarm bells began ring off in my head, and I immediately stopped crying and sniffling. “What’s wrong with your health?”

Without missing a beat, my Mom said slowly: “Well…I am pregnant….”

My Mom went on to say that she was pregnant with a little girl and I was going to be a big sister. The Father of this unborn baby was the man that my Mom had the affair with and who she had walked towards when she walked away from my Dad, older sister, and me when I was 8-years-old. Listening to my Mother’s lilting voice about this unborn miracle baby, I somehow thought that pregnancy was much more serious than my kidneys hanging in a precarious balance of complete failure. I could not believe that my Mom was pregnant and now truly starting a new family and new life, and there I was in my black hole of sadness and madness. My fingertips that clung on to the phone went icy cold, but there was this burning and heated sensation that flowed through me. How could she leave my Dad, sister, and me and then move on as if we had never existed? How could she take on this new life with gusto while I lived in the demons of my past, with her as my primary demon?

“You are going to make the best big sister!” My Mom gushed, interrupting my whirlwind of thoughts and conflicted feelings.

Me? A big sister? When I got off the phone with my Mom, I thought some more about being a big sister, and delusional ideas of us playing together or holding her to protect her from this world as a big sister filled my head. The biggest delusional idea of all came to me that maybe my new little half-sister could bring my mother and me closer and form the mother-daughter connected relationship that I craved deep down inside for me for too long.

I was wrong about those ideas, and I was wrong about my Mom ever coming to visit me when I endured my kidney rejection and the years of life experiences thereafter.

In November 1996 and a year and a half after receiving my second kidney transplant, my half-sister, **Lea, was born. Like me, she was a happy baby. Unlike me, she was a healthy baby. Unlike me, I soon observed that she was going to grow up in a happy family and household with my Mom and her husband. She had this power to bring my Mother and her husband even closer.

After recovering from my kidney rejection, I dared to visit my Mom every once a year or so around the holidays.  When I visited, I was placed into baby-sitter role so my Mother and her husband had time to go out and fall in love all over again. My Mom would brainwash me with lies that her and I would spend quality mother-daughter time together when I visited, but we never did. She would say: “Oh, yes, yes, Mary-ah, we will spend time together. Whatever you want to do. We will go watch movies or eat whatever you want just you and me,” but then never follow through.

I asked her more than once with earnest eyes and a hopeful voice: “Mom, we are going to go to dinner, right? You promised!”

“Oh, yeah, right…I forget just you and me, but Lea needs me now. I tell you that the three of us will go to the movies rather than just you and me. More company is better, right? Okay, Mary-ah?” She smiled brightly at me.

I wanted to ask her: “What about just you and me?” I never did. I just nodded obediently with a fake smile. Then, I walked away from my Mom, dejected, rejected, and confused. What was I doing wrong that my Mom would say that she would spend time with me, but then she wouldn’t and would just end up pushing me away from her for this new family?

As Lea started to walk and become more and more active, I noticed the pattern that I was either always taking care of Lea or it was my Mom with her newfound and seemingly picture perfect family. It was just about never only my Mom and I spending quality time together.

“You are such a good big sister! Lea loves you so much!” My Mom praised in Chinese.

I was so proud of myself when my Mom complimented how excellent of a big sister I was, so I continued to watch over Lea. I really did not mind so much about taking care of her. When Lea was a few weeks old and I cradled her, I fell in love with her wide and curious eyes and her innocence from the world and that adults were more screwed up than children. I said to myself that I would protect Lea as much as I possibly could. My Mother fed off of this care and love I had for my baby half-sister. Just as soon as I returned back home to my comforting Father, my Mom would bombard me with daily phone calls: “Lea misses you so much! She cries for you! You have to come visit more often and play together! The two of you are sisters after all. Now that you are healthy, we are more like a mother and daughter and family again.”

Guilty feelings returned like the bad plague that I owed it to Lea to protect her from what I began to view as our Mother’s web of manipulation. I had a sense of strong familial blood loyalty that I should have made more and agonizing efforts to become closer to my Mother and Lea, especially since my health and I were the catalysts for my Dad and Mom to divorce and then my Mom to leave us all. I was the better and stronger person to do whatever I could to make these mother-daughter and sisterly relationships work.

However, whenever I returned back home to my Dad from a visit that entailed me taking care Lea or when I saw her and my Mother bond or my Mother and her husband bond and dealt with their extremely religious practices, I was numb with grief and confusion. A week’s visit with my Mother, her husband, and Lea resulted in a week’s worth or longer of me so emotionally exhausted and downright miserable. Wasn’t I doing enough as a good daughter and good sister? What more did I have to do to show my love for my Mom and Lea? What else could I do to make things right with my Mother that I could not make right from my childhood past of sickness? How much longer was I going to be punished for being born sick and screwing up my entire family? What could I do for my Mom to just love me? To make matters worse, my Mother’s religious antics became more extreme. When I visited her, she had Lea and me almost at the crack of dawn to pray. She was reading the Bible to Lea and teaching her how to kneel and behave properly in Church and when in prayer.  I felt that I had to be a sinner because praying, the Church, and God made me feel uncomfortable and frightened.

The emotional and mental turmoil I went through after a visits with my Mom would then hit my Father who fed me continuous pep talks that there was no need for me to feel guilty because I was growing up and there was going to come a time that I made my own choices about who to have and who not to have in my life, and that included family. By the time Lea was 3-years-old and I was 15-years-old, I was slowly coming to grips with the harsh truth that I did not want to see my Mother anymore.

My Dad said, “Remember that you do not owe your Mother or anyone anything. You are your own person. You don’t have to be a hero. You just have to be yourself and do what you want to do and what you can do. That is your control and your power. People do not have power over you if you do not let them. For a long time, I believed that I could save your mother and all of you if I worked hard enough and made enough money and that maybe money could buy happiness and make people’s problems like your health go away, but only a person can save themselves. Your mother has to save herself. That is not yours or anyone else’s responsibility or burden to hold. I know it is hard to let go of your Mom. It takes strength and courage, but you are the most courageous person I know…always remember that.”

I won’t lie. The mere thought of pretending that my Mother was just a person and had never existed appealed to me, but when those thoughts penetrated me, I felt like the world’s most awful person and daughter if I chose the path of cutting my Mother out of my life.

The event that finally severed ties with my Mom was when I had an explosive encounter with her at her house. I was at least 15-years-old. It was an event just waiting to happen. I can barely recall where Lea and her Father were. They were probably out together and it was just my Mom and I, which was rare. I just remember that my Mom was sitting on her bed with a empty expression on her face. I went to sit next to her. Her thick hair was a knotted mess, her eyes were bloodshot, and her face was all wet. She was hugging herself.

“Mom? Are you okay?” I asked.

Her lips curled in a shaky smile, and she cupped my face in her hands. Her voice was unrecognizably high-pitched when she said, “My bao bai.”

My heart pounded in my ears. My face was starting to hurt from how tight she was holding my face in her hands. I put my hands on her hands and gently took them off my face. Her face then turned into a shocking snarled mask of anger as she practically shrieked to me: “Do you know what I’ve been through??!”

My ears began to hurt and ring, and I stuttered at barely a whisper, “What are you talking about?” I thought she was going to slap me across the face or lunge at me with the rage that was written on her face. I scrambled off the bed and tried to get away from her as fast as I could.

My Mom yelled after me and wailed: “Do you know that I had two miscarriages and you were not even there for me when I needed you??!!”

I stopped dead in my tracks and then turned to see her sobbing in her hands. Her whole body was shaking violently. I stared at her completely stunned and numb. I had no idea that she had two miscarriages prior to having Lea. I had no clue why she was crying so hysterically, and, worst of all, blaming me and screaming at me.

All I knew was that I was scared. Very scared.

I honestly should have known better than to shout back, but anger outweighed fear and my immediate reaction to my Mother was, “Do you know what I’ve been through?! You were never there for me when I had my second kidney transplant! You were never there for me when I thought I was going to lose my kidneys! You were never there for me when I was recovering! You were never there for me when I needed you and when everyone else had or has a mother and I don’t! When I come here, it is just all about you and your family and you say stuff like we will spend time together, but we never do. You say that you want a mother-daughter relationship, but then you just push me away or just screw things up! Why do you do that?! Why are you this way?! ”

I ran out of the room and into the guest room to pack my stuff as fast as I could. I was crying and trembling so much that everything was a complete blur as I began to stuff whatever I could find into my knapsack. I didn’t even know how I was going to get back home to my Dad, but I just knew in me that this was the last time I was going to see my Mom and Lea for awhile.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I was crying so hard that I was having trouble breathing and was struggling to catch my breath. I turned around to face my Mom. Her eyes were in a weird trance. She took my face in her hands and pulled me roughly towards her in a suffocating embrace. She whispered in my ear, “I’m sorry. I’ll try to be better. I’ll try real hard. I’ll keep praying, and I’ll keep trying.”

So, there I was in my Mother’s locked hold and both of us crying for completely different reasons. With my heart thumping wildly in my chest, I tried to comfort my Mom. I kept saying, “It is going to be okay. Don’t worry. It is going to be okay.”

And, the next day came and it was as if nothing happened, but that memory always stayed with me that my Mother had issues that I could not solve or take care of. I could not be a mother to my mother, and I could not be a mother to Lea. All these years, I believed that if only I was the good daughter and good sister that I could make up for a lost and painful past, finally have real relationships, and save my Mother in the process, but I was no one’s savior as my Dad had instilled in me.

But, to me, my Father and soon my Stepmother, **Lynn, when she came into my life later on were my saviors and brought me the sanity I needed from the insanity that my Mother inflicted.  Being raised by and in the comfort of my Dad's wisdom, loyalty, and philosophie and Lynn's calm, patient, peaceful, and practical demeanors, I came to realize as I grew up into my teens and especially on the cusp of starting college that sometimes we were better off without certain people in our life because they were toxic or poisonous to us. They had issues that they had to solve and take care of. They brought us down. They made us worse people. Sometimes, those people were family members that used that sense of loyalty and blood ties to get what they wanted and whenever they wanted it. Sometimes, blood is not always thicker than water, but the greatest challenge was coming to terms with that and letting go. And, so I began to let go of my Mother.  I began to slice her out of my life.

When my my Mother called on almost a daily basis about how much Lea missed me and how much they both needed me, and I told my Dad bluntly: “Tell her I’m not here.”

I would then hear my Dad’s calm and level-headed voice turn sour and angry on the phone with my Mom and then he would slip into livid and sharp Chinese words. The conversation always ended up with a slam of the phone and I could swear that my Father would end up saying: “What did I ever see in that woman?!” I shut my door to try to block them out. Slicing my mother out of my life soon turned into purposefully cutting her out of my life, and I was slowly feeling good about it rather than with a stinging and horrific guilt.

When I started college, it became easier and easier to forget my biological mother because my Stepmother, **Lynn, was all I could possibly wish and ask for in a mother. More than that, I was caught up in the excitement and life of a college student. I eventually went months without a card, a phone call, and a word to my Mother, but I thought of her every now and then. I thought of her when I saw my roommate’s eyes light up and heard her laugh aloud when her Mother visited her and they hugged each other tight. My mind drifted to my Mother when I lost over 60 pounds and the feminine side to me came out with an interest in skirts and maybe some lip gloss to dabble on my lips. How come everyone else seemed to have a Mother that loved them so easily except for me?  I wondered what she would have thought of me as this grown woman. Would she have shopped with me for pretty clothes and would she have brushed my hair and then let the ends slip through her fingers? I remembered the cascade of her thick hair that fell down her back and the way she pinned it up with a glittering golden barrette. I held on to the good and happy memories of her when she called me “Bao Bai” with her sweet smile, brought me to circus, and held me close when I was a little girl until the scent of her squeezed me into a dizzying swirl of pleasure.

Later on in the last year or so of university, my Mother was calling me more often again. I avoided her calls like the plague. I threw out her cards that came in the mail—partly because they were written in elegant and neat Chinese characters that I could not understand, but mostly because it hurt too much to have traces of her in my life again. It was easier to deal with her by not dealing with her. It was convenient to lie that she did not really exist, when she did exist but as a stranger to me. The only solid and constant Mother I had known my whole life was my Father, and I was grateful and thankful for that in ways that could never be measured.

As time went on, my Mother became an acquaintance that I sent Christmas cards and Birthday cards to out of politeness. What began as sharp shards of coldness, sadness, and anger whenever I thought of my Mother then turned into feeling absolutely nothing. As I was getting older, I felt nothing for her anymore, and I was fearful of that. To hate her, to love her, to feel something or anything would have been better than to feel nothing at all for this woman who had carried me in her belly for 9 months and was there for 8 years of my life. As for my Mother, she would go through periods of calling me every single day, but then maybe just call me once every month or two months. My older sister and I made a pact to eventually meet her and Lea when I was sometime in college, but when we arrived to meet them, Lea was awkwardly confused as to who the hell we were and my Mom ranged from supremely superficial to cold and distant. From then on, whenever she called, I ignored her and never returned her phone calls. I refused to subject myself to her manipulation and games of luring me with the images of a loving mother-daughter relationship, but not showing any love at all. It was thanks to my Mom that I quickly learned that actions spoke louder than words and loving someone was all about showing and not just saying. It was thanks to my Mother that I was wary, guarded, and mistrustful of people. I became easily hot-tempered and angry when a person did not do what he or she promised, and was convinced that nothing lasted forever and people left as quickly as they came into our lives. As months went by without us speaking to one another, I was forgetting what she looked like.  She was just a ghost to me.

When I graduated from university, my Mom was not there cheering in the stands, just like she was not there when I graduated from high school. However, after I finished university and the job hunt started, I thought a lot about my Mother and my baby half-sister who was really no longer a baby, but was almost a pre-teen. I thought about how I would be more open and friendly to speak with a stranger than my own mother. I thought back to my childhood of happy memories of her that were fading fast. I wondered how I would react with news that she had died, making her completely nonexistent in my life. Would I cry? Would I feel any remorse at all? I wondered about my future and if I were to ever trust someone to date or to marry if she would ever be there at my imaginary wedding. As the wheels in my head continued to revolve around my mother, I then began to think that maybe all this time that I was not the victim of my Mother, but maybe she was the victim of herself and could not control herself and all her issues at all. I then began to feel pity for her. I had grown up feeling anger, sadness, and guilt over my mother, but never, ever pity. This feeling of pity caused me to pick up the phone and call her for the first time in a long time.

I almost forgot what my Mom’s voice sounded like. Hearing her voice opened the floodgates to many memories and tears all over again. We had a surface conversation of university and jobs on my end and how Lea was really enjoying junior high school on her end. My Mom surprised me with speaking as cool and calm as possible. Unlike many previous times that we spoke on the phone, she did not say that we should pray on the phone. However, she did go into her familiar repetitive mode that we should meet. When I hung up with my Mom, I asked aloud: “What have I gotten myself into?” The last time we met briefly was when I was probably 18-years-old, and there I was at least at 22-years-old.

I could face two kidney transplants and all the health problems and procedures in the world with determined and fiery eyes and a badge of courage, but on the day that I agreed to meet my Mom at Grand Central Station, I was so shaky and scared that everything and everyone was like a dream to me. In general, Grand Central Station is like a dream to me with the ceilings so intricately carved and high that I was only left to feel like a tiny ant on the ground, the bright lights, and the many stores, but it was more surreal to me than ever before. It was rush hour and I was shoving past people to meet my Mother on time. We agreed to meet at the towering clock right in the center of Grand Central. I kept checking the time. When she was running five minutes late, I was convinced that I had subjected myself to my Mom’s abuse again of luring me in and then betraying or pushing me away as she always did while I was growing up. But, then, there she was in front of me with her short, cropped haircut and wrinkles etched on her face. Thick plastic glasses slid down her sharp and pointed nose. She looked thin, tired, and as though time and the experiences of life had aged and drained her. But, as always, she was a picture of statuesque loveliness, standing at almost 5’7” over my 4’11” frame. She was beautiful and she was and is my Mother.

I took a glance at Lea who looked nothing like my older sister and me when were younger. Lea was tiny and thin with silky dark hair and delicate, fragile features. She did not resemble my Mother in physical appearance, but resembled my Mother with sadness and entranced seriousness in her eyes. She seemed older than she was. I was blank seeing them in front of me, but then a lump formed in my throat. My heart did a thumpity-thump for one more brief moment. Then, all of a sudden, this unexplainable and overwhelming enormous feeling of perhaps peace filled me. There I was. I had grown up turned into a decent woman even after all these years without my Mom to physically watch me grow up and be there for me. I had turned out okay after all. This okay feeling was a huge sense of fulfillment and relief that made me hug my Mother tight and pat Lea on the head and give her a shy smile.

“Mary-ah…you look so good! How much weight did you lose?!” my Mom exclaimed.

“You look good, too…mmm…not sure how much weight I lost,” I said simply.

“Where do you want to eat? We eat anything you want! We go anywhere you want to go to!” my Mom said cheerfully and then her voice went kind of soft as she said: “I don’t even remember the last time I saw you.”

I decided to not respond and we chose to eat right there at Grand Central station at a Mexican place. I thought that my Mom and I would stumble over topics to talk about or that she would go into her multiple prayer mode, but this did not happen. We did pray before the meal as my Mother insisted but, after that, the only time my Mother mentioned religion again was to tell us that Lea and her were enjoying Church very much. I focused on surface talk of jobs and universities. My Mom was only high-school educated and not college-educated, and so she absorbed every word I told her about my college professors and of the lush green campus that I walked around in circles when I was stressed and had needed a break from studies. She stared at me in awe and with enlarged saucer-pan eyes when I showered her with stories about the classes that I had taken and of my major studies. Both of us most likely deliberately did not speak about the past about my health, her divorce from my Dad, leaving us, and about the unhappy memories that we had. We spoke about the here and now. As I spoke with my Mother about what was going on in our lives, Lea clung on to our Mother with admiring eyes towards her but confusing eyes towards me. I felt a mixture of happiness for my Mom that she seemed to bask and hold on tight to this life with Lea and her husband, but also jealousy and sadness that Lea had what seemed to be the best of our Mother when my older sister and I seemed to have received the worst. My Mom seemed genuinely content with the life she had moved on to, and I knew I had to do the same.

At one point, Lea left just my Mom and I alone. We sat looking at one another like familiar strangers in silence. I was starting to feel awkward with her staring at me. Abruptly, she reached out for my hand and squeezed my fingers so tight that I thought they would break. Her voice cracked and tears filled her eyes as she said: “I want you to know that I’m sorry for many things. I tried my best. It was hard to come to the U.S. from China and not have so much education and not know English and then try to understand what I did wrong that you were so sick as a little girl. It is not your fault, but when someone you love so much is sick, you do not know what to do or how to do it. When a child is sick, it affects everyone. I never understood the doctors. I still do not understand so many things. Your Dad understood so much. Your Dad is a very, very good and smart man. Your sister and you are good girls. He took care of us all and did so much more for all of us than I could never even try to do. I knew that your Dad could do so much for both of you that I could not, and it was best for all of us that I leave. Do you understand what I say or what I mean that when you love someone very much, you try to let them go because you know that is sometimes what is the best thing for them? Do you hate me or can you ever maybe forgive me?”

I stared at my Mother. For the first time in my life, I saw the guilt and anguish in her eyes for leaving my Father, older sister, and me and for how she had treated us even when I did try to get close to her. After all these years,I now understood that she left all of us to set us free to try to start a new life and to set herself free for a new life. After all these years, it was clear to me that my Mom was a complex person that most likely suffered from some kind of emotional or mental bout and had struggled to make things right for herself and for all of us in what seemed as twisted and hurtful on the surface. I had judged my Mother as so selfish and conniving for abandoning us when she was probably the most unselfish and performed the bravest act when she left us. I grew up feeling guilty for causing my parents demise, but in the grand scheme of things, it was not my Mother that had made me feel guilty, but I had made me into a scapegoat. Never in a million years would I have thought of seeing my Mother in this selfless and loving light. Maybe it had to do with me growing up to have thought this, but when I was with her in that moment, I knew that it was time to leave behind the past and forgive her and myself. I knew that there was always another side to the story and many sides and layers to people. People are not always what they seem and are constantly evolving, changing, learning, and growing. As my Father always reminded me when I went into my bad personality traits of quick to criticize and judge, “You have to take people as they come.” It was time for me to just take my Mom as she was and to find it within me to move forward with my own life and without the past holding me back from now and from a future with so many unlimited possibilities.

I said to her, “I don’t hate you. The past is in the past. We have to let go, and we move forward with our lives.”

Her face broke into a smile and she held my face in my hands. “I am proud of you. God gave you this gift to make people stronger and happier.  I love you.”

For the first time, I believed her when she said that she loved me.

When I think about the tumultuous relationship that I had growing up with my Mother or perhaps without my mother, I am hit with stark memories. My Mother was not there to guide me through puberty or shop with me for gorgeous dresses and bras. She was not there for me when I struggled with my weight, self-image, homework assignments, and eventually choosing a university and getting through it and graduating. She had not been there for all my health experiences or for my zest for life and growing up and growing pain moments. However, my Mother was still here to teach me that there comes a point in life when we have to move on and truly live our lives, even if living the way we want to live it may be at the cost of other people’s happiness and opinions of us.

I eventually said that I had to go to catch the train. She reached down to give me a tight and barely breathing hug. My Mom gently nudged Lea towards me to also give me a hug. My good-bye to both of them and especially my Mother before boarding the train was not sad or happy. It was strangely and serenely comforting, and I would say that I had finally reached maybe just a piece of closure with my mother. A tiny piece of closure was all I could hope and ask for after all these years with my Mother. I knew that her and I could never rewind time to try to create and have a close mother-daughter relationship, and I was more than okay with this. This was my own happy ending or perhaps beginning with my mother.

When I turned my head around to wave good-bye once more to Lea and my Mom, I saw them walk together with their hands entwined with one another. I flashbacked to when I was younger than Lea at 6 or 7-years-old, remembering how tight I had held my Mother’s hand and how I gazed at her with her head held high as she carried the world on her shoulders. A soft smile played at my lips with this memory, and sense of comforted peace filled me that I could not ask for anything more from my mother—a woman who brought me on the greastest emotional journey imaginable and who taught me the greatest lessons ever about people, life, love, and my capacity for all of this and more.

**denotes made-up name to protect individual's privacy


Jennifer said...

Wow Mare, what a great write up about your mother. I remember some of the stories but you tell it so well and in such detail. Beautiful job!

Maggie said...

Hi Mary. It's Maggie. I too have learned that people come and go in our lives. Whether it's a parent, spouse or friend. We learn and we are shaped into the courageous people that we are. It's sad when you think of it but as you did, we have to let go of the past. Love your story. I'm dealing with my demons now.