The next calls reveal very little useful information about my mother. I did not know her, she was not part of my group of girls. I am trying to remember where your mom grew up. I don't think we hung out much but we did occasionally go out as a group when we were juniors. She was friends with Pat or Karen or Linda but not me. No, we weren't close. We didn't have classes together. Sometimes we did mindless activities together. Oh yes, I remember your mom--your mom was very petite. I went with your mom to the record hops but we never really spoke.
When my mother sat in these cars with the other young girls and headed out night after night to dance, what did she say or think or do? Did she want to share her life with these companions or was she thinking of nothing other than the fact that for a few hours she could shield herself from her looming concerns as long as the music was playing?
Mother, I want you to have been known and loved; to have as much substance in the real world as I am giving you now in my mind. But it is becoming all the more clear to me that you stayed on the edge of people's lives in the same way I did. I have to wonder how many people would say the same of me. She was sometimes there, sometimes not. She had many friends. Of course she did. With each person assuming that I must have been better friends with another member of the group, only to later learn that there was no one in the circle to contain me.
For my birthday last year, Aaron threw a party with friends old and new. As we sat on the deck discussing our youth, Aaron asked questions about my life before him. It was strange to listen to them describe me as friendly and seemingly content in my teens. Though they sensed I might have something going on outside of the public eye, no one had known the circumstances of my life, no one realized that my life was ruled by a five foot storm, who kept me from living the life of a child.
As I write this, I am realizing that in talking even with these women who had very little in the way of specifics to offer me, I am coming to understand my mother. I was that girl. I lived that life. My grandmother taught me as I believe that she must have taught my mother; with blinds closed and doors locked and no one the wiser, we made our lives in the only way we could.
But then I opened a door and love stepped in and I pulled out all the drawers and exposed the stuff of me, the very stuff I am still sorting. Mother, I am opening your world as well, but don't be afraid, because this time I am here with you and you are going to be surrounded by those who will not judge you. Here you will triumph because your life will give me what I need.
I am ready to know you inside and out, Mother. Let there be a flow between us, what there was always meant to be. Let me see more, much more.