Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Miracle Year: A Window in Your Heart

(To the left: my dad & mom in a snowy Minnesota) Uff da, again! When it rains, it pours! The day after I got back from Sioux Falls, I got a packet in the mail from my seldom heard from cousin Becky,* who lives in Michigan (and who will be more in touch after reading this :-).

Becky’s mom and dad were seriously into photography (they had their own dark room, very mysterious to me as a child). She had sent me photos of my mom and dad and a couple of my brother and me soon after my mother’s death that I had never seen before.

(To the right: Grandma Schlinsog holding Steve, Becky & me) It was to Becky’s home (her mother was my dad’s youngest sister) in Washington State, that we fled after my mother’s death. My dad’s mother, Grandma Schlinsog, came with to take care of me and the new baby, Steve. Not very happy times. My aunts told me that for months after my mother’s death I kept asking, “Where’s my mommy?” I wonder if anyone ever told me? I think not.

For those who lose parents at a young age, there’s a black hole that never completely heals, is never made entirely whole. Paul Simon, in his song “Graceland” summed it up perfectly:

"And she said losing love

Is like a window in your heart,

Everybody sees you're blown apart,

Everybody sees the wind blow."

Quite a few years ago, I bought a book called "Motherless Daughters: A Legacy of Loss" by Hope Edelman. It sat on a shelf for a long time. I picked it up from time to time, opening it randomly, then I'd put it back on the shelf. Finally, last year I donated it to a library, still unread. Perhaps someone else will get more use of it than did I. Still can't go there...

*Out of my maternal grandmother’s six children, five had girls within eight months of each other; Bonnie (June), me (October), DeVona (November), Becky (January) and Kathy (February). A great example of the American diaspora, we now live in, respectively, Hawaii, California, Minnesota, Michigan and Washington State.

To be continued...

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