Tuesday, December 17, 2013

La mère

The Old Post Office building, visible now from the National Mall, now that the leaves are down.

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of my mother's death. I've been thinking about her, feeling sad that she never got to experience old age. She did make it into her 60s, barely, but she was quite ill by that time. My guess is that she was too ill to enjoy the last few years of her life. It's a shame because I think she would have loved it. She would have loved being free of all hormonal imperatives that attend adulthood. I think she would have relished the let bygones be bygones vibe that's accessible at this age in a way that isn't possible earlier in life.

It's ironic because when we were kids, she swore she would live to age 100. The day before yesterday would have been her 93rd birthday. She would still have seven years to go, had she been able to fulfill her promise. It's mind boggling to consider.

The day she died was a horrible day for me. My boss raped me. After that I went to a bar and drank shots of Jack Daniels until I passed out - apparently - since I remember nothing after the first few shots until waking up the next day in my own bed, alone. Someone must have taken me home.

I'm sure you can imagine the state I was in when the phone call came the next morning from my sister, telling me my mother had died. I have tried, but been unsuccessful in my attempts to understand why those two horrible events were linked in time. How could both things have taken place on the same day? I will never know. It's one of the things I worked on for years in therapy, but all that work was more about accepting the timing rather than coming up with a theory as to why.

Last year when we unveiled her gravestone was the same day the children at Sandy Hook were murdered. Likewise, it is not possible for me to understand how those two experiences could have happened the same day, even though that's what the calendar said.

I had such a weird relationship with my mother. It boggles the mind.

I'm thinking of her tenderly today. She is long removed from this lifetime; her spirit has long since flown away. But I hold her in my heart, with lots of love, on this anniversary of her death.



Kerry said...

Oh Reya. I am speechless. Thinking kind thoughts & sending them your way...

Reya Mellicker said...

A lot of water under the bridge, Kerry. Thanks for your kindness, but I'm so recovered that I could post it on my blog.

We can be a resilient species.

Pam said...

I am so glad you could post this Reya and think such tender thoughts about your mother, and am sad for harrowing experiences mentioned also. The photos are beautiful - there is a touch of Europe about them, even though they are local. Sending warm thoughts your way.

ellen abbott said...

Perhaps one day I will get there with my own mother. Right now I couldn't even tell you the day she died or even the season. Does that make me a bad person?

Reya Mellicker said...

There is nothing bad about you, Ellen, absolutely nothing.