Sunday, May 8, 2016
My final conversation I ever had with her was filled with too many details which I wasn't able to focus on. I could only focus on how like her my smile is. Like her my cheek bones are the same. Like her my laugh is the same. Like her I too paint my nails and make sure I look presentable always. I longed to know the woman in front of me. I didn't ever refer to her as mom as that was a foreign title I hadn't ever used since I was 7 years old.
I wasn't raised by her. I only knew of her from letters, cards, presents that seemed sweet but missed the mark by a year or so, awkward phone calls and then conversations I heard from other adults about her. I knew she was considered an 'unfit' mother by others. To me she was that woman who always was rushing, a mess and ready to dance at a moment's notice. Does that sound crazy? Not to me. That's what I ever knew of her.
Stories were told to me. I learned my mother did colorguard in high school for marching band just as I did. I didn't ever learn a lot more about my mother. I did learn in that last conversation, which I didn't know would be the last time I spoke to or ever saw her, that my name was made sure to be pronounced Jo-elle and spelled Joël. One of those details came true and the other she longed for always. I learned to add the accent when a foreign exchange student in high school spelled my name that way so it would always be pronounced correctly when read.
This month is a month I remember but in a different way. It's not that I want to remember any other way or that I am not present in my current family glory. I just have that tug, that pull and a moment. It is when I think of my mother most. I remember every memory I have of her. I surrender to it all. I have these memories and these memories alone. Nothing more and nothing less.
When I take a moment to take in what is all around me I can be clear of mind. I will always miss that woman of mine that is my mother. I see her face staring back at me with ever single reflective surface I come across. I look exactly like her and she like me. The only person on this planet that did. Someone who is a complete stranger to me. Even with that last year of together time.
So I take the few details I know and hold them so close to my heart, mind and soul. I cherish them as I could truly have not ever known a single thing. Not one detail! There was always that looming chance. I prayed on that. I prayed and desired to be able to know something about her, my mom, than to have her taken from this earth and not know one single detail. I got just what I needed.
I will always bask in what I have versus what I don't. I will always be that cheery bubbly zany and make you think (you're a trip) and be demure me in a flash. That is me. I am me. I have a lot to be so happy about. So yes I will let you know how my name is pronounced. I will most definitely be the one singing in the car and dancing up a storm with my children. I will smile at myself because I do LOVE myself. What's wrong with being confident?
I hope my mother can see I am well. I am happy. I'm a parent. I'm a dad. I am here despite life challenges. I.....hope.......my mother can proudly say she brought me into this world. That I am here and I'm able to reach many others. That I am able to have all I've ever desired and more. I hope.