Last night, my sister texted me to remind me that today was the twenteith anniversary of our mother’s passing away from Multiple Sclerosis.
This past year or so, a few friends have lost their mothers, so this this has been on my mind. I barely knew my mother – actually, I knew my mother’s mother (whom we called Grandma Claire) much better than I knew her.
For the decade prior to that I had very little contact with her for various reasons. I was (obviously) quite young when my dad and mom split, and was largely unaware of the massive legal battle my father waged to keep his children. After this point, my grandma (my father’s mother) became our main maternal figure until dad remarried, and she passed away last year.
What this has left me with is pretty much only the vaguest of memories of her, like going over to her place Sunday mornings and watching Star Trek on CBC while my sister and I did homework, or sitting on the front veranda at the farm, or that she liked to laugh.
So, I don’t really have much of a sense of who she was, and earlier today, I realized I couldn’t even really recall what she looked like, with the exception of the last time I saw her alive, when I don’t believe she recognized me or my sister – but even then, the fog of time has obscurred that as well. This led me to digging through a folder of nearly over eighteen hundred scanned photos my dad had given me at our xmas family gathering last year, looking for photos of my mother, and I only found a handful, including the one in this post, which dates from about 1976 when I was about four or so.
I love the fact that my dad and I chat on the phone (old school!) for ninety minutes at a time, usually at least once a week. We talk about whatever comes to mind, and that’s awesome. While I know it’s not at all possible to have those kinds of conversations with her, I can still dig through my brain and try to learn from what I remember, talk to others in my family and see what they remember to get a better sense of the kind of person she was.
How does this affect you? Well, it probably doesn’t. But, if for some reason you aren’t on speaking terms with a parent, opening a dialogue with them to find out who they are.
A burned bridge can be rebuilt, if you do it in time.