October 29, 2006

Motherless Child

You don’t get to choose your mother, and I am envious of those who did have some type of relationship to their mothers. I envy those who had mothers that even through illness, did their best to be mothers. Mine, in illness, chose to revert to childhood and depend upon her mother, and I became motherless without death. I didn’t know my loss at the time; it was just the way things were. Then later in my life as a young adult without the memories, I began to feel a horrific void. For really stupid reasons, there had been no one to replace her, just let me say the reasons involved the preservation of family dysfunction.

Today, I was reading two posts at Anonymous Rowhouse, which surprisingly upset me. It upset me so much that I must write this. One of justrose post was about her and her mother’s relationship and the other a memory of her mother. It is more than memory, but it’s hard for me to describe. I have always wanted this type of memory. Justrose really gets to the emotion of an apparent material object. A box full of possibilities, an ethereal influence.

my mother's makeup box: an old shoebox that had held a pair of my catspaw maryjanes. she kept it on a shelf in the bathroom linen closet. it had no lid. it was stained with pancake.

her mirror was the bathroom vanity over the sink, and she tended to do her face in private. all you could see was her standing on tiptoe on the aqua and black tile of the bathroom floor.

her makeup was comprised primarily of stuff you bought at the five and ten. her eyeliner was a hard cake in a compact that she put on with a sharp little angled brush, as i imagine an egyptian woman would've done. it was always missing the plastic lid.

her foundation was maxfactor pancake, that you did with a wet sponge. she wore angelface loose powder that she kept in an ancient round powderbox covered with small champagne-colored blossoms and edged in gold trim. she put it on with an equally ancient pink puff with a satin band on the back. she favored browns and mahoganies.

See the rest.

I did not have a relationship where I could analyze or have this type of memory. I grieve for the mother I never had, but not because she died. She died under my care. I took on the responsibility after my grandmother died, out of duty, not love. I became the caretaker in my late twenties and during that time, no relationship developed. It may be because I was angry, I don’t know. Was I waiting for her to reach out to me, to become my mother in some sense, to give me unconditional love? I think that’s it. I know I am angry now that all I have left is guilt. I don’t even have any conflict to remember or any thing that is personal. I have no influences of her femininity or how she handled motherhood. I wonder if this has had an effect in raising a son, I do think it might have had an effect in raising a daughter.

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