June 05, 2005

Additional Thoughts on my Mum

If I had to sum up my curiosity about my Mother in one question, it'd be "Who is she?" I wish I could say that her and I'd had ever talked about anything substantial, or that she had ever told me anything about herself, but I would remember it if she had. So, that's how I know she didn't.

Whatever I think I know about my Mum's life or personality, I heard from my Dad or from her relatives - it's all second-hand memories, like the photos in our albums. I have second-hand pictures and words, records of other people's experiences with her, and very few of my own.

I always felt like there was some funny distance between me and her. Her main relationship was with her parents first, and then my Dad. Her children came third or less. Growing up, Kim and I were just "the kids" - as if we were in a whole different category. Even when I was small, I could feel some of that distance. I just didn't know my Mum well enough, and it got worse each year as I got older.

I've only ever seen glimpses of who she once had been - the beautiful, talented, loving person all her friends and cousins remember. I have seen her bored or upset or raving drunkenly. I have only seen her beautiful side a few times in brief glimpses, It always felt so rare because to me, it was.

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