The subject of loss is weighing heavily on my mind and heart this week. This particular week in July marks the anniversaries of my mother’s, my uncle’s, and my precious aunt’s passings all within three years of one another. Some years these days pass by without much attention,however this year I find myself lost in a sea of overwhelming feelings of grief, anger and apathy all together.
My mother was gone after the winter of 1974, she left me and everyone she knew, including herself, in the dark days of January and February. I was far too young to really grasp what happened in those days but I have my memories. I can only imagine what led to the demise of a person so young (actually younger than I am right now) the ironic thing is my mother did not physically die until some twelve years later but she was gone long before. When I think about her life and wonder how could she leave me it scares me to death to think that I at 42 years old am close to the halfway point of those milestones. I find myself at times not being able to see the trees through the forest.
What I really want is to get inside my mother’s head and figure out where she was coming from. What would motivate someone to check out of their own life and abandon the one person they promised to love and protect? Was the cause of her breakdown the result of a horrible break up with a man? was I honestly a reminder of that love affair gone bad?
Amongst the members of my family there is this a strong “don’t ask, don’t tell ” code of ethics. For my entire forty-two years of existence I was told by these “loving” family members that answers to my questions like who is my father and what was his name are “none of my goddamn business”. Nice. A few of the answers I have gathered include the assumption that my father was married and having an affair with my mother. I assume I have at least one sibling because through all the lies and story changes three things remained consistent…my father’s name, the name of his wife and the name of his child (my sister). In one of my crazier moments I actually went into my state’s department of vital statistics and looked up the birth certificate of my sibling. I was literally grasping at straws, I went off of memories of names I recalled my mother mentioning. I had a clue to what my father’s first name was and what his profession was because he helped a family member of mine. So on a whim I got a look at my sibling’s birth certificate , seeing her name in print definitely was not a satisfying experience, I just felt lost.
. …if my father is the person I am thinking he is, I just found out he is dead. Part of me wants to see his wife and say I am sorry my mother was a bat shit crazy home wrecker and the rest me knows enough to leave the poor woman alone. The thing is both she and I are the victims here of a choice 2 adults made in the summer of 1968 and neither of us deserved the outcome of their actions.
So once again I am faced with loss. This time the loss feels bitter because with my father a little part of me dies as well. The part of me who held out hope is gone with him and I am not sure if she will ever come back.