I wonder what our relationship might have been like had she lived past 55? I wonder if while going through those horrible years of teenage angst I might have found a way to become a whole person easier in her presence? I wonder what it would feel like not to have a hole in the center of my being where her love used to live?
I wonder if the abandoned child inside of me will ever feel comforted? I wonder if I will ever completely heal from the trauma of her untimely death? I wonder who I might have become without those wounds and with her love in my world?
I have long passed her lifespan in my own life now. My friends’ are all dealing with the aging of their own mothers. I don’t envy them this. For as much as I would have given to have had her for all these years — I know I am not strong enough to face the loss of her— again. I know what a dark place that is to lay your mother to rest. And part of me is relieved to have it behind me.
I am witness to my friends’ journeys. Even as I have been witness to their many joys over the years — the shopping trips, parties, events small and large — where they have had mothers to attend. In their lives, they have had mothers to complain about. They have had mothers to worry about. They have had their mothers to love.
When I was twelve my mother died — when I was thirty-five my father followed her. I found myself an orphan — otherwise known as the oldest living generation of my family of origin. I had no guidance from crones to aid me. I steered my ship with an unsteady and untried hand.
My own children are now in their thirties. I love having that relationship with them. Friend, confidante, advisor, crone. I feel I have finally earned The Mantle of Oldest Living Generation after 23 years of experience in the post to practice.
It has led me to a settled place, at long last. It is with great gratitude I greet each day. This was not always so as I nursed the wounds of my childhood and longed for the comfort of my mother.
But the truth is this — in the twelve short years I had her, my mother loved me so very well — it has lasted me my entire life. Love is about quality — not quantity.
If you do it right — a little bit goes a hell of a long way. Because Love is the most Magic Potion in The Universe.