Even though my mother is dead our relationship continues to evolve.
Someone once told me that you have to have patience to understand something. Even though I worry that my mother's story will never be complete for me, I have the patience to keep going. I've become a passionate collector of my mother's memories; I will record her truth as far as I can trace it.
So I take the list of phone numbers of women who may have known my mother and continue my search. The first call is with Judy, a woman who says she was friends with my mother since Elementary School. I'm nervous when I hear her voice; I want so much more than snippets; I want to be taken into my mother's soul. But can I have such expectations? Is it reasonable to expect that someone can hand me my mother, this woman whose presence creates and destroys my thoughts like a storm? Still I want it and will want it and so I will ask the questions over and over again to anyone who will listen.
Who was my mother?
Over the course of an hour, I learn that my mother was very quiet, had a quiet voice, did not socialize much, was very smart, played baseball, was angelic and frail. She had blond hair that was always curled. She was very fair skinned. And kind. No one ever worried about Pat being nasty because she never was. She was sincere when she told me that she was sad when she realized she never knew what had become of her. That when classmates would get together for reunions, no one could say where she was. She was "lost." And then one day, Judy saw in the paper that she had died. You had a lovely mother, you really did. Circumstances royally screwed her up.
Now isn't that the truth?